IN THREE VOLUMES
WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS
EDINBURGH AND LONDON
All Rights reserved
For every man has a past, some knowledge of which is
necessary to the understanding of his present or the forecast-
ing of his future.
A D R E A M E R.
The Rev. Arthur Temple was the most pop-
ular pastor in one of our large manufacturing
towns. His hair had early turned white, but
his face, even when he had become elderly,
remained unwrlnkled and bright, lighted by
kind dark eyes and a beaming smile. Mr
Temple belonged to the Evangelical section
of the Church of England, but his good nature
and good sense had prevented him from
becoming an injurious persecutor, or even a
rigidly intolerant dogmatist. He was a suc-
cessful man in his own way, for he was not
ambitious : if his desires had ever travelled
4 A DREAMER.
in the direction of bishoprics or money-bags,
he had long since recalled the wanderers
home, and he was more than content with his
comfortable parsonage, his crowded church,
and his active and useful life. He was an
ideal pastor, in fact : outside his home he was
always benevolent, cheerful, patient, and wise.
I say outside ; for within doors a shadow oc-
casionally settled on his smooth forehead, and
the smile would disappear when he was quite
alone or only in his wife's company. Mr and
Mrs Temple had a secret anxiety that was
never really forgotten by them in their seren-
There are people who live near a burning
mountain, and perhaps daily expect an erup-
tion therefrom ; and there are others who have
one particular dependent or relative to whom
their thoughts fly instinctively the moment
they hear there is a calamity abroad, or that
a misdemeanour is committed or feared. The
anxiety, the bugbear, the volcano, was Philip.
This beloved son of the good clergyman and
his gentle wife had never met with any serious
misfortune, except once pulling a gateway
down and crippling himself for six months ;
nor had he ever been guilty of any flagrant
iniquity beyond sowing a crop of wild oats
when at college, which had grown up chiefly
to his own hurt, and which had been quickly
regretted and forsaken. But he alarmed his
parents. They had no confidence In him ; he
puzzled and offended them : they never under-
stood what he was doing, nor guessed what he
would do next ; they lived in continual dread
that he would some day and somehow '* come
to a bad end."
Philip Temple was the Ugly Duckling of
the fairy tale, all the more trying to his parents
because he was the only duckling they had.
It by no means follows that he was a swan, or
even a goose. I start with no theory on that
point. I do not so much as observe whether
he was above or below the ordinary duck ; but
most certainly his nature was different from
that of his parents. Mr and Mrs Temple
brought up their child in the way he should
go, but Philip seemed born to refute the asser-
6 A DREAMER.
tiou appended to the proverbial Injunction on
which they had based their method of educa-
tion. He departed very considerably from
that particular '' way."
Philip Temple was a martyr to theories.
He had theories on all subjects, which he
seldom condescended to explain, and which
were perpetually bringing him into scrapes,
sometimes because he carried them out, some-
times because he did not
A great contrast he was to his cousin and
contemporary, Oliver Temple, who from his
birth upwards had been held before him as
a pattern, and whom he hated accordingly.
Philip, conceited enough, like most young
persons, considered himself quite a match for
his cousin. His mere love of theorising
placed him on a higher level at once in his
own estimation ; and nothing was more ridicu-
lous, he thought, than Oliver's shallow. Inane
smile, when he (Philip) chanced to advert to
In those days Philip had a pompous way of
saying, If his conduct were discussed, " I had
a reason," that was generally provocative of
laughter — reasonable mortals being rare, and
not, one would think, in the least like Philip.
But he went on his way without heeding the
laughter, which seemed to him a crackllnor of
thorns under a pot ; neither did he heed repri-
mands, nor expostulations, nor his mother's
tears (which flowed rather easily), nor by
no means unfrequent punishments during his
school and college days. At the same time,
he was strict with himself, and found his own
good opinion exceedingly valuable : fear of
seeminor inconsistent seldom held him back
from change of conduct, if change of opinion
demanded it ; and as he never explained any-
thing, his behaviour not unfrequently perplexed
those most anxious to think well of him.
Mr Temple had designed his son for his
own profession : the boy had abilities, and, his
parents had at one time believed, " signs of
grace ; " but he did not develop as they had
expected, and Mr Temple was beginning him-
self to have doubts about the grace, when
Philip, now an undergraduate at Cambridge,
8 A DREAMER.
announced that he had no intention of enter-
ing the ministry. Mr Temple sorrowfully re-
quested his son to choose another profession.
No such easy matter this, however.
Late one Saturday evening they were sitting
together talking it over. Mr Temple had
suggested two or three courses, all of which
were indignantly scouted by Philip.
*' Then there is the Bar," said the clergyman,
yawning. He had still his sermon for the
morrow to revise, and was sleepy and a little
tired of the conversation. Philip was very
tired of it. He was a lean, lanky lad, with
dark eyes somewhat cavernous, and a brown
complexion. He looked preternaturally serious,
and was a little cross, perhaps from sharing
his father's tendency to slumber.
" The Bar ! '' echoed Philip ; '' ten years of
idleness and thirty of imposture."
" Imposture ? "
'' Lies right and left."
" Nonsense ! Well, what do you wish your-
self ? " (getting Irritated) — " medicine ? "
" A very indecent profession," said Philip.
Mr Temple pushed back his chair wrath-
fully. " Really, Philip, your folly is unbear-
" Doctors are good, useful men," said the
boy, " but over-wise. If I were a doctor I
should be desperately afraid of knowing too
much. Fancy an intimate acquaintance with
}'our neighbour's stomach, and a consciousness
that charming Miss de Broke's liver is at fault,
when other people think she has been crossed
in love. A doctor labours under great social
" I suppose what you really mean by social
disadvantaofes is loss of caste. Doctorinor is
not an aristocratic profession." .
'' Pooh, my dear father ! there is nothing
aristocratic about us ; we belong, I consider, to
the middle class. I like the middle class ; I
intend to stay in it. But nevertheless I don't
feel drawn to medicine. I will trouble you for
" You might make one yourself. Pray,
Phil, have you never considered the sub-
10 A DREAMER.
The boy shrugged his shoulders.
"If you chose to exert yourself," pursued
Mr Temple, " I believe you could secure a
'' I don't want a fellowship. I hate sine-
cures and idleness."
" There is no need to be idle."
" I should be idle. I need steady work."
'' You might devote yourself to science."
" And be a learner all my life. There is an
eternity about science that appals me. Be-
sides, I should get unspeakably tired of being
hemmed in by impassable facts. I want more
room for my genius than I can get in astro-
nomy or physics. Metaphysics are more in
my line. You can wander ingeniously into
Fancy there, while you say you are strictly
within Reason. A geologist ? No, I will
sooner sit down among the clouds, and call
myself a philosopher."
" A pretty philosopher you would make,"
muttered Mr Temple.
'' My dear father," said Philip, with much
seriousness, " I wish you would not be angry
with me. You think I am only disputing. I
am really saying what I believe."
" I confess, Philip, I am vexed that after all
this time, and all the money spent on your
education, you do not yet seem capable of
doinof one single useful thine."
'' I hope I am capable^' said Philip, offend-
ed. " I suppose I could do any of the things
you have mentioned. I only said I did not
" Then what do you wish ? You say you
don't want to be idle : finding objections to
every profession under the sun looks uncom-
monly like idleness. Do you want to emi-
grate ? or have you authorship In the back-
ground of your thoughts?"
" To emigrate ? Certainly not. And I
should not like to sell my thoughts for
" Fiddlesticks ! The question is whether
you have any thoughts."
" Precisely," said Philip.
" Well, I suppose the decision must be
postponed. It is a great mistake. A man
12 A DREAMER.
should have a distinct object in view through
the whole of his college course, as I had."
'' My dear father, have a little patience.
You know I always intended to follow your
profession. You should feel for a fellow sud-
denly robbed of his object in life."
" It is a great disappointment to me, Philip."
" I know it is. I am very sorry. I am
disappointed myself — in a way."
" I have consented to your giving up the
Church," said Mr Temple, rising, and prepar-
ing to extinguish the lamp, '' because I feel
that, in your present unconverted and unbe-
lieving state — it gives me great pain to say
such things, Philip — you are not fit for it. I
trust you to find some other useful profession
to which I can consign you, not indeed with
the same gladness, but at least with satisfac-
tion." This was a well-rounded period, calcu-
lated to awe the provoking youth.
" It is a pity," said Philip, " to force a round
man into a square hole, as somebody has said.
The man gets squeezed, and the hole isn't
PRELIMINARY. 1 3
" Pooh ! Who wants to force you into a
square hole ? Get Into a round one, for pity's
'' Can't find one."
" There are plenty of round holes if you
will only use your eyes. There is no need for
all this hesitation," said Mr Temple, a prac-
tical man, with plenty of common-sense, who
never hesitated about anything.
"*The time is out of joint,'" muttered
Philip. " ' O cursed spite, that ever I was
born to set it riorht ! ' "
*' The time out of joint, did you say ? "
called Mr Temple after him, as Philip moved
to the door ; " not a bit of it. It is you who
are out of joint, my dear fellow."
Philip went to his room, and sat down
solemnly to consider whether he were out of
joint or not ; also whether he could not gravi-
tate towards any of the professions mentioned.
" I will be a doctor," he said to himself. " I
will learn that strange word diagnosis ; I
will be patient with hypochondriacal, nervous,
and dyspeptic patients ; I will be sympathetic
14 A DREAMER.
about a charming woman's first baby, and
all the troubles connected therewith, by the
mysterious arrangements of Providence. I
think I could do all that in process of time, if
I didn't hang myself first. By Jove, could I
though ? I suspect I wasn't born a doctor.
I am much too healthy myself" He yawned
and surveyed his lean nervous fingers with a
grim satisfaction. " Til be a lawyer, and sit
still in a web till a fly drops in. Then I will
take a great interest in dissecting the fly's
grievances before I devour it. That is what
I will do ; but I will gang my own gait a bit
first." He walked to the bookshelf, and, tak-
ing down a small volume, copied a sentence
into his pocket-book.
" ' O my brother ' (viz., myself), ' be not thou
a Quack. Die rather. It is but dying once,
and thou art quit of it for ever. Cursed is
that trade; and bears curses, thou knowest not
how, long ages after thou art departed, and
the wages thou hadst are all consumed ; nay,
as the ancient wise have written, — through
Eternity itself, and is verily marked in the
Doom-book of a God.' " Philip replaced the
book, re-read the extract, then went back to
his father. Mr Temple's sermon was pushed
aside. He was not thinking of It ; he was
thinking of his son. Philip knelt down by
his father's side, and laid his hand in the one
extended to him.
" What is It, my boy ? '' said Mr Temple.
" I am come to bid you good night, father.
I don't like being sent to bed in disgrace."
Mr Temple smiled. He drew the boy to
his fatherly breast. Then he preached him a
" It never enters into your head that you
may be wrong, I suppose ? " questioned
" God's Word is never wrong," said Mr
Temple conclusively, laying his hand on the
Bible. Philip rose to his feet, chilled and
" There is no use In arguing," he said
gloomily, and went to bed.
Philip returned to Cambridge, the question
of a profession still undecided, and continued
l6 A DREAMER.
to theorise and experiment upon many things
— not much upon prescribed study, but a good
deal, as I have said, on the culture of the dan-
gerous plant called wild oats. It was chiefly
a matter of experiment with him ; he did not
exactly know what he was about ; his prin-
ciples were shaken on many subjects ; he had
no decided aim in view ; and he was ganging
his own gait a bit before he began to seek for
a definite aim. He told himself he could and
would turn round the moment he wished it,
and he was revelling in the first sense of
freedom and power. In a word, he had fallen
a victim to what has been termed an attack of
Philip went further than he had intended,
of course — people who begin to run down-hill
generally do ; and he did a good deal of mis-
chief not only to himself, but to his followers.
He had many followers, his nature being of a
kind to attract or repel vigorously. The per-
son most harmed was one Henry Mortimer,
a gentle, brilliant, lovable creature, who had
never made a theory nor fixed a principle in
his life, and who, once started on the down-
ward course, had no power to stop himself.
Philip left Cambridge in something very
much akin to disgrace, and without having
taken the brilliant degree expected of him.
He was in a secretly mortified and regretful
condition of mind, which gradually turned into
an honest though silent repentance. But his
parents were as much perplexed and distressed
by him as usual. Philip had come home with-
out the meekness of the returning prodigal,
was cold and silent, would explain nothing,
promise nothing. He met his father's religion
with a stiff incredulity, and his mother's plead-
ing with a frown. Suddenly, without consult-
ing any one, he accepted a subordinate post
offered to him In a Government mission to
Paris, and left home, greatly to the displeasure
of his parents, — for they thought, like many of
their countrymen, that everything French was
wrong ; and when Philip crossed the Channel,
they felt as If they were consigning him to
Philip had lost sight of Henry Mortimer
VOL. I. B
l8 A DREAMER.
for the time being, a coldness having sprung
up between them before the former left Cam-
bridge. Henry had suddenly assailed him
with bitter reproaches and accusations not
wholly undeserved, which had pained Philip
deeply. Then Henry had turned away from
him, and Philip had seen him no more. Mr
Temple wished his son to forget Henry Mor-
timer, and all other similar persons : Philip
was not apt to forget
Oliver Temple, of course, passed through
his university career highly creditably, and
took a satisfactory degree. So also did
Ralph Lindsay, Henry's cousin — I had al-
most said brother, for they had been brought
up together from their childhood. Ralph
Lindsay, whose home was a chilly one, had
concentrated all the affection and protectlve-
ness of his nature on Henry, and he mourned
over him now. His acquaintance with Philip
was slight, though they had been specially
commended to one another by their respec-
tive fathers, old friends themselves. Ralph
Lindsay had avoided Philip, for the praise-
worthy reason that he was fascinated by
These four contemporaries left Cambridge
in the course of the same year, and they all
started to travel through the world on dif-
ferent roads. Unquestionably Oliver Temple
made the fairest start : he was universally
commended ; he was clever, handsome, and
sufficiently rich, Henry disappeared from
civilised society ; '' he was following in his
father's footsteps," said the world. Ralph
Lindsay was not brilliant, nor important in
any way. Somewhat sadly, he acceded to his
father's wish for him, and went into a mer-
chant's office in London.
And Philip Temple ?
Well, he drew a prize in the lottery of the
year following. One day there came a letter
from him to the quiet English parsonage,
that took the good clergyman's breath away.
Philip announced that he was going to marry,
and that the bride-elect was Miss Mortimer,
20 A DREAMER.
only child of Mr Mortimer, of Hawkton
Manor, close to the town where the Tem-
ples lived, and of Salehurst in the county of
Kent; who for many years had resided in
the French capital.
It was not in the least strange that Philip
Temple should fall in love with Agnes Morti-
mer; every second young man of her acquaint-
ance may be said to have done the same,
more or less seriously. Several had reached
the point of a proposal, for Miss Mortimer
was encouraging to young men : she was not
a coquette, but she took a kindly interest in
their ways and doings. Agnes was a grand,
dignified creature, whose beauty was rather
that of a goddess than of a nymph : such a
woman is sure to number among her ad-
mirers some very young men, for boys are
easily attracted by what is superior and ap-
parently unattainable. Your first love is very
often older than you are yourself; often be-
longs to a sphere above your own — is dropped
22 A DREAMER.
from the skies, you think. When you find
this heavenly creature invites homage not
entirely transcendental in its character ; reads
your favourite books, sings your favourite
songs, shares all your " noblest aspirations "
and " poetic visions ; " but sheds by the light
of her diviner soul an ethereal glow over
everything, book, song, poem, thought, ay,
even over your foolish young self; — then
naturally you lose your head altogether ;
and deeming yourself some strangely-blessed
favourite of heaven, you have the presump-
tion to think of winning this glorious being.
You fling yourself, your possessions, your
soul and body, at her feet; and are recalled
to daylight and reality by a refusal — non
Why did not Philip Temple, who was
young and poor and unsuccessful, and, it
must be confessed, somewhat disagreeable,
meet with this salutary rebuff from Agnes
Mortimer the goddess ? No one knew — un-
less it were that she liked him ; but as every
one knows, that is a very old-fashioned and
unsatisfactory reason for accepting a man's
proposal. People began to think that this
unamiable, unimportant boy was the prime
favourite of heaven that each one of them
had faintly suspected he was himself. They
even had unjust thoughts about heaven itself:
if it was determined to select an unlikely
person, it might much better have chosen
nie^ who am at least handsome ; or me, who
am an English peer ; or me, who have
studied all the dead languages ; or me, who
have been to the Andaman Islands. It was
most unaccountable. That obnoxious, con-
ceited, cross - grained young Temple ! who
was only a sort of clerk ; who had not even
a settled profession ; whose father was only
a parson, and his grandfather only a stupid
old general, with a tumble - down old house
in an eastern county, which he was too poor
to keep in proper repair ; who had done so
badly at the university ; and who had such
a very brown complexion — most un-English ;
and such very unconciliatory manners — most
24 A DREAMER.
Mr Temple wrote to his son and expos-
tulated : he was too young, too unsteady,
too unsuitable in every way. Philip replied
that he was coming home for Christmas, and
he wished his mother to write to Agnes, in-
viting her to accompany him. What could
parents do under such circumstances ? And
the boy had been so wild, — if she were a
good girl ? if she did him good ?
But Mr Temple knew the Mortimers by
report, and misliked them. " Mr Mortimer
Is an essentially worldly man," he said ; *' and
his brother, that William Mortimer, father of
the unhappy young man Phil was connected
with at Cambridge, Is " he shook his head
'' But, Arthur," pleaded gentle Mrs Temple,
''Philip says Mr Mortimer Is not on good terms
with his brother. I should hope our dear boy
will not be mixed up with that family at all."
*' I hope not Indeed," said the clergyman.
" My dear," he added, presently, '' It Is best
to do as Phil says. Ask the young lady to
come and pay us a visit."
Mrs Temple sighed. As yet she had rather
taken her boy's side against his father. Now
she quailed as she thought of the fashionable
heiress invading her quiet home. Neverthe-
less the invitation was written.
Did Mr Mortimer regard this young Tem-
ple in a favourable light ? He did not trouble
himself to regard him in any particular light.
He was a blasd, indifferent man, who con-
sidered life a disappointment. He was fond
of smoking, and spent much time in lying
on sofas and in collecting china. He knew
very little of Philip Temple : young people
did not interest him. Agnes was quite cold
and sensible enough to look after her own
interests. Mr Mortimer had never disputed
a wish of his daughter's in his life, and he
allowed her to take her own way now.
So they were betrothed, — Philip Temple,
who was nobody in particular, and had made
rather a mess of his life so far ; and Agnes
Mortimer, the beautiful, rich girl, who was as
old as he was himself, and who was a little
condescending to her young lover. Philip,
26 A DREAMER.
who had always writhed under patronage
before, thought her perfection: he was vio-
lently in love with her, and he did not know
her very well. The young man bore his good
fortune with meekness enough. It did not
alter him materially. At this time he had
become very industrious and steady. Though
somewhat old and serious for his age, his
general mien was more cheerful and propitious
than it had been a year or two before ; his
eyes were less cavernous, and his smile was
more frequent. Agnes liked to make him
smile, and above all things she liked to make
him talk. Philip's talk was not quite the
same as most men's, and it amused Miss
One day Philip, on leaving the presence of
his bride-elect, encountered two persons. One
was a shabby-looking man who stared at him
with considerable amusement as he closed the
hall -door behind him and walked along the
sunny street. The second was his cousin
Oliver, who greeted him with smiles and con-
gratulations, and annoyed him by the reminder
that he had known Miss Mortimer for years.
Oliver, who always knew everything, told him
also the name of the shabby man who had
stared at him a few minutes before.
'' That is William Mortimer, the squire's
unfortunate brother," said Oliver.
Philip flushed suddenly, as was his wont
when suddenly agitated. He was thinking of
" William Mortimer, the squire's unfortunate
brother/' was living in Paris just at present,
in rather mean lodgings over a baker's shop.
He knew a good deal of the ups and downs of
fortune; and not two months before, his habita-
tion had been a comparative palace. William
Mortimer by no means always considered it
necessary to take apartments proportionate in
grandeur to the money he had in hand ; he
thoroughly understood the art of living in
splendour and letting some one else pay for
his luxuries. But there were reasons why he
did not wish to adopt this system at present,
and he made a great show of humility, calling
attention to his poverty, and the economy
necessary to promote his little daughter's pro-
There was no one in the world whom the
squire detested more than his brother. A
man who Hved ostensibly by painting bad
pictures, and really by gambling ; a man who
Intended his daughter to be a public singer ;
who wore a greasy coat, and lived over a
baker's shop, — was not a respectable relation,
and had no business to come into his pros-
perous brother's vicinity. Yet Mr Mortimer
did not completely disown him, and was even
outwardly civil in speaking to him. Possibly
it was because of some past scenes in his life
which he could never forget ; possibly because
he liked the children, — the gracious, captivat-
ing Henry, and the pale, pretty child, whom
Agnes " wished she might send to school."
This little girl — Henry's step-sister — was
now thirteen, but small and young for her age.
Her face was pale and pinched; and her sad,
unchlldish eyes, in which tears often stood,
were accustomed to rest with a bewildered,
questioning gaze on persons and things who
never answered what she souofht to know.
Her voice, perfect in its delicacy and musical
30 A DREAMER.
ring, was mournful and weary, seldom rising
into vehemence without a quiver that ended
in a sob. She was a neglected, tired, lonely
child, whose guardian angel was never visible
to herself. As yet life had been all a puzzle
to her, and she had never known that uncon-
scious happiness which makes childhood the
golden age for most of us.
A gleam of brightness had, however, fallen
on the child's pathway since she had been in
Paris. She had seen her cousin Agnes twice,
and had fallen in love with her with all the
force of an impulsive nature. And again,
Philip Temple found her out, and took a
brotherly interest in her, *'for Henry's sake."
Whether the child liked him or not I cannot
say. She was not used to liking people ; but
it was wonderful to her to know any one who
regarded her as a little human child, and not
as a piece of goods being prepared for the
'' What a naughty child you are, Griselda ! "
exclaimed Philip one day, in reply to certain
observations she had made. It was four
PRELIMINARY. 3 1
o'clock on a wintry afternoon : the artist was
out, and Philip and the child were alone In the
bare uncomfortable room, In which was no con-
spicuous object save a piano, now open, with
some music on Its desk, other sheets being
scattered over the floor near It. The young
man leaned carelessly against the window,
playing with the blind-cord, his foot rubbing
his large black dog, asleep with nose stretched
out on his fore-paws. Philip was frowning
down upon the child, who stood before him,
her hands clasped behind her, and her head
thrown back that she might look up in his
face. She was afraid of him ; but she was
afraid of so many people 1 She could not
afford to turn from him on that account.
Griselda wore a shabby dark frock, and an
immense enveloping French pinafore of black
alpaca. Her neck and arms were uncovered,
and abundant golden hair fell back from her
forehead and curled loosely over her shoulders.
There were unshed tears In the large dark
eyes, and the little mouth trembled.
" Why do you say I am naughty ? " she'
32 A DREAMER.
cried. '' I didn't mean any harm. I only
want to do what I Hke when I am grown
"It Is not right to do what we Hke, If we
Hke wrong things," said PhlHp, with great
'' I don't Hke wronof things."
PhiHp looked very stern, and the child
began to cry.
" I don't always know what Is bad. How
can I ? Papa doesn't care whether things are
wrong or not, and no one teaches me, or cares
whether I am good or not. You shouldn't be
so angry. I will mind what you say, if you
will be kind."
Philip said nothing. The conversation was
a new experience to him.
*' Won't you forgive me ? " said Griselda
presently, creeping a little closer.
''You haven't done me any harm."
*' But I'm very sorry. Who have I done
*' Only yourself so far." Philip's thoughts
had flown into regions quite beyond poor
Griselda's comprehension, and he puzzled
'* I want some one to forgive me. I won't
do it again ever," she said, not quite knowing
what she meant.
PhiHp did not reply. He was revolving
something in his own mind. He was young
and impulsive : the pendulum of his nature
having rebounded from the quarter to which
his short course of recklessness had swungr
him, he was now more demonstrably virtuous
than was exactly natural to him.
" Look here, Griselda," he said, catching
hold of her arm roughly, for his own strong
feelings made him harsh ; " when you are
grown up you will harm others beside yourself
People are bad enough ; you will take them
by the hand and make them worse."
" I won't make people worse."
" You will, unless you are good yourself
You don't know what influence women like
*' I mean to be very good always," cried
Griselda : " I have always meant that. Only
VOL. I. C
34 A DREAMER.
I can't," she added, wearily ; " I don't know
what Is good and what is bad, and I have no
one to tell me. I shan't see you and Cousin
Agnes much oftener. What must I do ? "
" Yes," said Philip ; " Agnes is one of the
women who make people better."
'' What must I do ? " said Griselda, not
Philip was silent. To be a moral teacher
was a new role to him, and he had a vague
notion that he ought to speak of religion to
her ; but the consciousness that he had no
religion to speak about checked him. Philip
had been brought up in an atmosphere where
religion was the most prominent thing, and
as yet he had an uncomfortable feeling that
morality was guilty if divorced from religion.
He knew his father's beliefs and phrases by
heart, and could have reproduced them for
Griselda's benefit with no difficulty. But he
" W^hy don't you tell me ? " said Griselda,
clenching her hands. '' You are wise and
good, I suppose, and know what to do. You
have had people to teach you. What would
you do if you were a little girl, and had
nobody, and were always being told to do
wrong things, and were going to be an
actress ? "
" It is too hard to imagine so many things,"
said Philip, smiling.
" Don't laugh, please. I mean it. I can't
think how you can laugh when I care so much.
What would you do ? "
'' I didn't mean to laugh, Griselda. I care
too, very much."
" But what would you do ? "
" You must try always to do the good things
you do know about," said Philip, awkwardly.
" I know that. I always do. That doesn't
tell me about the rest. How must I find out?"
" You might — read books," said Philip,
hesitating, and feeling that he was giving her
very meagre advice.
" But all books aren't good."
" Then what good are books ? I might
read the wrong ones."
36 A DREAMER.
" No," said Philip ; " if you found a book
was bad, you would not go on reading it."
Griselda sighed impatiently. " I think you
are stupid," she said. ** Don't you see, /
shouldnt know if a book was bad."
** Yes, you would," answered Philip, gaining
more confidence ; '' and each book you read,
you will know better. You haven't read a
great many books, have you ? "
" No, only plays. Papa makes me learn
great pieces by heart. I am learning some
now,'' and she glanced at a book lying face
downwards on a chair ; *' and oh," she went on
suddenly, " it is not a good book ! I hate It ! "
Philip took it up, but the child snatched it
from his hands.
" I won't learn It ! " she cried. " Look here,"
and she tore it down the back, her cheeks
Philip laid his hand on her shoulder.
*' Won't your father be angry ? "
" I don't care. I won't learn It ! " and she
flung the window open and hurled the torn
leaves into the street. Philip watched her,
till the glow had left her cheek and the fire
had faded from her eyes. She sat down by
the window, pale and quiet now. Suddenly
she sprang to her feet, her hands clasped and
her little frame trembling. '' Here he is com-
ing !" she cried; " what shall I do ? He will
be so angry ! He beat me once for spoiling
his books and for not learning my lessons.
He has often beaten me. What shall I do ?"
Griselda came over and looked up at Philip
beseechingly, laying her hand on his arm.
" Will you say your big dog tore it up, or
that it fell out of the window of itself? He
will be so angry ! "
Philip said nothing. He put his arm round
the child and drew her to him.
" You think that would be like a coward ?
But you don't know how angry he will be ! "
" I should speak the truth, I think, Griselda,"
said Philip, as lightly as he could, but feeling
very much inclined to cry. She struggled from
his arms, and sat down at a little distance
watching him gravely. Mr Mortimer's step
was heard upon the stairs. " I won't let him
33 A DREAMER.
beat you, Grlselda," said Philip ; '' I will give
you another book for him."
Mr Mortimer entered. He looked sur-
prised to see Philip Temple, but greeted him
with great cordiality. Griselda interrupted
vehemently. " Papa, I have thrown it away !
I won't learn a word of it. It is wicked. Mr
Temple says so. I tore it up and threw it
away. There ! But he's going to give you
*' I don't want another," said Mr Mortimer,
deprecatingly. '' You must learn to be quiet,
Griselda, and do as you are bid. I never give
you anything wicked to learn. Pick up your
music, child, and put it away tidily. You
came to see my picture, sir ? "
" I came to see Griselda," said Philip,
'' And very glad of a friend she is. I am
sorry to say I am often obliged to leave her
alone. Poverty is a hard master, and if we had
our rights, my little girl would not be eating
her bread without butter, while her cousin "—
here Mr Mortimer recollected Philip's relation
to the cousin, and concluded dramatically, —
" but I blame no one. Doubtless all is desio^ned
by Providence for our good. You know the
door of my studio, Mr Temple, if you have
any commands for me," and he vanished.
" Good-bye, Griselda," said Philip ; " he will
not beat you this time, I think."
'' Perhaps not, " said the child, wearily.
" Please don't go yet. You promised I should
sing to you to-day. You have never heard me
" Well, one song, little one, if you like ; but
you must be quick. I can't stay long." Philip
took out his watch and shook his head over it
" I can sing better than I can play,'' said the
child ; " but I generally would rather play. If
I am quite alone I like singing best ; but when
people are listening it is too — too "
*' Personal," suggested Philip, smiling.
*' I don't know if that is it. Perhaps it is. I
like — I love singing to myself. Only the words
of nearly all songs are stupid, and put one out.
But I will sing you a pretty one now."
40 A DREAMER.
She swept the music from the desk of the
piano to the ground, and perched herself on
the high music-stool. For a moment she sat
with her hands clasped and her eyes turned
upward. She may have been choosing a fa-
vourite song — checking a rising sob — invoking
inspiration, — anything. Philip stepped nearer.
He had allowed the song chiefly to please her,
for he really wished to be going ; but now his
interest rose. She struck the few notes of the
introduction softly, lovingly : it was a little
evening song, and the child was a born mu-
sician. Not a note jarred or startled. She
began to sing. Her voice was childish and
slender, but perfect in its way, filling the room
with sweetness. The full German words drop-
ped from her lips soft and round as pearls : —
" Ueber alien Gipfeln ist Ruh,
In alien Wipfeln spiirest Du,
Kaum einen Hauch,
Die Vogelein schweigen — schweigen im Walde.
Warte nur — warte nur. Balde.
Ruhest Du auch."
Philip was taken by surprise and bewildered.
He fell Into a dream, forgetting the little mu-
sician till she stopped lingeringly, and then
wheeled round on the music-stool and looked
up in his face.
'' That is a very beautiful song, Griselda,"
said Philip, collecting himself. She flushed
" I like singing to you. You are fond of
music, I think. Most people say, ' How well
you sing ! ' or ' What a nice voice you have ! '
and they don't care about the music a bit."
" Now sing to me again, Griselda." She
shook her head.
'* No : you looked at your watch ; you said
you were in a hurry ; you said, only one.
Where are you going ? To see Agnes ? "
'' Yes," said Philip, remembering and smiling.
The quick tears sprang to Griselda's eyes.
'* I wish I might go too. I wish Agnes
cared about me."
''She does, Griselda."
" No, not like that. You and Agnes are
people In a different world from mine. I like
thinking about you," she added, enviously.
42 A DREAMER.
" It is all the same world, Grlselda. When
we are married, Agnes and I, you shall come
and stay with us, and prove that we are all in
the same world."
*' I don't think papa will let me," she an-
Philip went down the stairs, the refrain of
the child's song ringing through his ears. At
the door he lingered, hearing little pattering
footsteps running after him.
" Please wait one minute," said Griselda.
" You said I must get some books. Tell me
some good ones."
Philip paused and looked down on the little
eager face, slowly recalling the conversation
about the books, and racking his brains to
think of one suitable to her. She waited with
the air of patient confidence that, in a child, Is
sometimes so embarrassing and yet so touching.
'' I can't think of anything, Grlselda," said
Philip, abruptly ; " you must choose for yourself.
Go to a good bookseller's shop." He turned
away, fearing she would insist ; but seeing
clearly enough the disappointment that spread
over the pale childish face. " Thank heaven
I am not a curate," said Philip to himself. " I
am not able to give advice in the simplest
form. How the child puzzled me with her
questions ! Yet I told her right about the
books. She will judge better than I. Mybest
advisers and most sympathetic friends never
yet gave me a book for my edification, that I
saw anything in it. Next day I will avoid
these deep morals with her."
Christmas -TIME brought Philip back to his
English home. He found his parents still in-
clined to treat him as a black sheep. They took
great pains to be cheerful and affectionate : but
he detected the disguise ; mentally supplied the
moral to every remark addressed to him ; and
had a disagreeable consciousness, whenever he
observed them deeply engaged in conversation,
that he himself was the subject. The young
man had come home with a laudable desire to
please, and to prove to his parents that he had
turned over a new leaf. As far as action went
he succeeded in satisfying them well enough.
But he allowed himself a freedom in conver-
sation that distressed them exceedingly. He
made sallies against all his father's favourite
doctrines, ran full tilt against his mother's pre-
judlces ; donned the oddest armour, mounted
the strangest Roslnantes, and proceeded, like
Don Quixote, to demolish windmills, and to
iieht for those who were well content with
existing arrangements. He got up arguments
apparently for the sole sake of arguing ; quoted
the most heterodox authorities, and advanced
the most preposterous theories. Mr Temple
shook his head, bewildered and impatient ;
Mrs Temple was thoroughly alarmed. Philip
had never talked so much In his life before ;
she began to wish he would keep silence. He
had a faculty for getting up a sort of spurious
interest in any subject: soap-bubbles; the
cleaning of knives ; the inhabitants of Guate-
mala ; the reign of reason ; the cooking of
herrings ; the progress of art. He would form
a theory in a twinkling, and proceed to draw
out its consequences, and the Inferences there-
from, in a manner that would startle you. He
would bewilder you with questions the most
simple and the most intricate, and he would
finally wander off Into a fairyland of fancy and
nonsense whither you would be hard set to
46 A DREAMER.
find the way, even if you wished to follow him.
He was generally voted a bore, especially by
the person to whom his conversation was ad-
dressed ; but there were one or two people who
were tickled by his grave face, earnest manner,
and foolish observations. Amongst these was
his grandfather. General Temple, a facetious,
somewhat blundering old gentleman, consid-
ered worldly by his son and Mrs Temple.
He had a great fancy for Philip, who had de-
spised the old man in his early youth, but who,
since his own making of blunders had begun,
cherished for him a more sympathetic and
With the beginning of January came Agnes
Mortimer. Every one was charmed by her,
for she possessed the secret of easy and adap-
tive manners, taking such pains to suit herself
to her companions, that she never appeared
affected or unnatural. Philip found himself
quite restored to favour after Agnes had been
two or three days in the house ; the moon
receives much admiration by reason of the
reflected light from the sun. Mr Temple was
quite ready to acquiesce when Philip suggested
that it was well he had not been too much hur-
ried in the choice of a profession. Politics
were the most appropriate study for a man of
fortune — even a man whose fortune came from
his wife ; though, indeed, if anything were to
happen poor Mr Mortimer, so that his estates
passed at once to his daughter and son-in-law,
Philip would have quite enough to do in
managing all that property. It was an ex-
ploded notion that a country gentleman need
be a mere fox-hunting, game -preserving do-
nothing. And from what he heard, he fancied
the Salehurst property had been much ne-
Q^lected. Mr Mortimer had said something
about letting them take up their domicile there
Mr Temple was of opinion that change
should begin very gradually : the mere pre-
sence of a resident landlord (or his heir) who
was interested in the estate would be a source
of benefit to the place without making any
revolutions. He hoped Philip would be care-
ful against imbibing new-fangled notions as to
48 A DREAMER.
the management of property. The rising gen-
eration was too fond of sensationalism, and a
great many of those plausible theories eman-
ated from the Socialists and other dangerous
persons. Philip was preparing to rush into
the lists in defence of Socialism, when Mrs
Temple interrupted with the hope that there
was a good clergyman of the right school at
Salehurst. This made a diversion, and the
Socialists were forgotten.
Agnes liked these earnest family conver-
sations. In her chill, stately home she had
heard nothing of the kind. All her life she
had merely played at caring; and those sur-
rounding her, her father more especially, had
not even done so much in the interest of
enthusiasm. These people cared about every-
thing, from the conversion of the heathen to
bonnets and cardboard. Agnes was pleased
with Mr and Mrs Temple, and they were
delighted with her.
And as I hinted before, Agnes liked Philip
very much, and let him talk to her as much as
he pleased. And how Philip talked !
One day — Mr Temple was busy with his
Sunday-school teachers, Mrs Temple was hold-
ing a meeting of the clothing club at the other
end of the parish — Agnes strolled into the
garden and found Philip with his coat off, dig-
ging up the flower-beds.
'' What's this for ? " said Agnes.
Philip paused, — not unwillingly, perhaps, for
it was a clay soil, and only those who have dug
in such, know the labour of a gardener. " Ima-
gine that I am Adam," said he ; " you are come
out to be Eve. Then it follows that this is
the Garden of Eden."
" Was that your idea when you began ? "
'* I have just evolved it on your arrival."
" Then what was the motive ? "
" Oh, to give Rogers a holiday. He is
learning Latin — would you believe it ? — and
wants an extra hour for his grammar. So I
have laid hold of the spade."
'* Rogers learning Latin seems nearly as
unnecessary as you digging."
" Unnecessary ? Not at all. Why shouldn't
he learn Latin as well as I ? Because he has
VOL. I. D
50 A DREAMER.
to dig. But if I dig, who suffers ? No
" The garden, I should fancy. Look, you
have broken that carnation."
'' Oh, a dead old thing. A clod fell on it."
" It is not dead, unless you have killed it.
Rogers would have guided the clod better."
" Ah, well, it is because I haven't practised.
I shall improve as I go on ; just as Rogers
will improve in his declensions."
*' What is the theory ? "
'' That a man should help his fellows more,
and no one be tied to one thing exclusively.
Why shouldn't Rogers have a bit of learning ?
I daresay he is as much interested in Roman
history and geology as I am. And why
shouldn't I dig ? It is as good exercise as
walking to St Martin's Hill with a cigar in my
" I thought division of labour was a first
principle of political economy."
*' Yes ; I divide the digging with Rogers."
" Nonsense ! You divide the digging and
PRELIMINARY. 5 1
" Of course ; on the whole. But one can't
work all day. I don't. Why should Rogers ?"
^' I daresay he doesn't either. He goes to
his club in the evenings."
" I hope so. If so, my principles are be-
o-inninof to work."
'* People get a great deal of harm in those
clubs (so your mother says). They drink, and
'' My mother knows nothing about it. If
they do, what then ? It shows my principles
have not worked enouorh. The men haven't
had time to learn anything that would coun-
teract the drink and the sedition. Sedition !
'* I believe you would defend any side in
an argument. I daresay you would undertake
to prove that black was white," said Agnes,
''It might be done, no doubt. White often
seems black. Did you never look at the sun ?
It is commonly supposed to be white. But if
you stare up at it, you will only see a round
52 A DREAMER.
*' That is an optical delusion."
" Colour is always a delusion. It does not
reside in the object; it is not even in your
eyes. It is in the very inside of you, in the
innermost soul of your brain. If the sun looks
black, it is black to you. There is no more a
quality of whiteness in the sun than there is of
brownness in this clay."
*' But if the clay is always brown, it seems
to me there is a distinct brownness in it."
" Not at all. You see it brown. How do
you know I do ? I call it brown, of course ;
but my brown may be your blue. You never
can prove that we mean the same by our
words. When you play the piano it strikes
me as a charming noise ; it may affect you as
a glorious smell. Everything may be topsy-
turvy. We may never mean the same thing
when we use the same words. Oh, I should
like to be somebody else for a while to learn
about that sort of thing ! To get into the very
innermost self of somebody for two hours —
to see with his eyes and hear with his ears ;
it would explain so many things : perhaps I
should understand why some people like dan-
delions, and pigs, and Jews ; perhaps I should
understand what you see in me that is likeable.
Agnes, perhaps all people are really alike, —
think the same thoughts, like the same things ;
only a confusion — that of Babel, perhaps — has
entered into their language and senses, so that
they seem to be different. I have always
wondered, for instance, what my mother ad-
mires in Miss Lilias Robertson ; but if she
sees on her the face I see on you, it is ex-
plained. We both like the same thing."
Agnes laughed. " Go on.'*
" Perhaps, besides a universal similarity in
the groundwork of our natures, there is an
utter dissimilarity in our senses. What I call
seeing may be unknown to you, while the out-
side world affects you in some utterly different
manner, as different as hearing, but which is
not hearing, nor smelling, nor feeling, nor any
other sense of which I have any conception.
Perhaps no two persons have the same sense.
Why should they ♦have ? The Creator of the
world seems to have had an endless variety of
54 A DREAMER.
patterns. You never saw two faces Identically
the same, did you ? Why should our senses,
our sensations, be identically the same ? "
*' But we all have two eyes, a nose, and a
*' Yes ; and we all say, ' It is clear this
morning ; I can see far away over the sea to
the islands beyond.' " Philip shaded his eyes
as he spoke, and gazed with so much earnest-
ness on the garden -wall, behind which rose
dull streets and a flat uninteresting country,
that Agnes started and turned, almost fancying
for a minute that she could really reach the
ocean with her gaze.
'' You queer creature ! What next ? "
'' We shall get to another world some day,
and learn a new language. The confusion
will be gone, and we shall explain to one an-
other what we really meant. I will tell you
what I meant when I saw you — what it was
to me when that child Griselda sang. She
will say what she meant by hearing. Raphael
will tell us what he meant b^ seeing, and then
we shall understand why he painted better
than Perugino. Some people's method of
seeing will seem hardly worth describing ; but
when we know what it was, we shall under-
stand their not caring for the Alps and the
curl on the edo^e of a bio- wave. We shan't
venture to think anybody stupid then ; we
shall say, ' Poor man, his sense was deficient.' "
*' Will it apply to everything ? Will wick-
edness be explained too ? "
'* Of course. I see that a He Is a very ugly
thing. You don't, we w^ill suppose. Natu-
rally you tell lies. I can't understand it now,
but you will explain it all then. The origin of
evil won't puzzle us then, for we shall see
there was no such thing."
'' I suspect there is a flaw in the argument
*' We are not arguing ; we are only saying
* Perhaps.' When the apostles spoke with
other tongues — I don't believe they did, not
for a moment ; but they may have done it for
all that — perhaps then they were talking this
new language. Nobody understood them, for
it was before the time. They scarcely under-
56 A DREAMER.
Stood themselves. They couldn't explain it —
they could only speak of It vaguely : ' Other
tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.'
Paul knew something about it when he was
caught up into the third heaven, and heard
unspeakable things not lawful for a man to
utter, — whether in the body or out of the body,
he could not tell. We have all had visions of
it, in vague Intangible moments, gone before
we could catch them, and leaving not a trace
" I wonder how much you believe of all
'' Believe ! Nothing. It is a speculation,
a fancy intangible as the premonitions of the
new language. Go away, if you please, and
leave me to my digging. Rogers ought to be
back, but I am afraid he is finishing his Latin
in the public-house. He has some traditions
of the old school clinging about him still/'
Ppiilip was passing through London on his
way back to Paris. Walking along a quiet
street, he was followed by two persons whose
pace corresponded to his own, and whose con-
versation he could not avoid hearing. The
subject of their talk was familiar to him, and
presently he recognised the voice of the more
silent of the two. It was Ralph Lindsay.
Philip's first impulse was to quicken his steps
and avoid his old acquaintance, for he neither
knew the young man well nor cared much
about him. He had a vague notion that
Ralph was an Oliver less strongly dyed —
another model of sense and behaviour, less
obnoxious, because more stupid. But the
conversation was of Henry Mortimer : the
man with the unfamiliar voice seemed anxious
58 A DREAMER.
to do him a favour of some sort, and wanted
to find him. Ralph did not appear to know
where he was ; and PhiHp, who had acciden-
tally become possessed of the desired informa-
tion, thought he saw the opportunity for doing
his old companion a good turn — for Philip had
heard nothing of Henry for a long time, and
had no idea that he was " wanted " on a charge
of forgery. Last night, however, they had
met in a back street in Clerkenwell, whither
Philip had wandered on an impracticable
errand, in its nature half charitable and half
inquisitive. London is said to be your best
place if you want to hide; and Henry had
taken pains to disguise himself But his was
a face and figure not easily disguised, and
Philip recognised him. Henry did not seem
anxious to talk. On being taxed with his
appearance, he said something about a bet;
and then, hastily scribbling an address on a
scrap of paper, he thrust it into Philip's hand,
saying, " Look me up there to-morrow even-
ing between eleven and twelve, and bring me
^5, if you have it to spare, like a good fellow."
PRELIMINARY. ' 59
He vanished, not waiting for Philip's ex-
planation that he would be on board the
Calais boat to - morrow at eleven o'clock.
Henry's disreputable appearance had raised
feelings of vexation as well as curiosity in
Philip's mind. He felt ashamed of his old
companion, and not particularly anxious to see
him again just at present. But by degrees a
sense of pity rose in his heart, and he began
to be sorry that he must needs disappoint
"He looked awfully seedy," said Philip to
himself next day, thinking of his own respect-
able appearance, and feeling half jealous of
himself for Henry's sake; ** and he is her
cousin, too. I don't agree with her that we
are to cast them all off as much as possible.
Henry belongs to me somehow, I think. I
must write to him. Wish I could have
manao^ed to meet him to-nlo^ht."
So Philip reflected ; and half an hour after-
wards he met Ralph Lindsay and his unknown
companion. He stopped and accosted them.
Henry's wild, hungry eyes had been haunt-
6o A DREAMER.
ing Philip all the morning ; and now here were
hungry eyes again — yearning, sorrowful eyes,
full of grief and apprehension. Philip had
never marked Ralph's face much before. It
was an ordinary face enough, with features of
no particular type, and a brow not especially
intellectual or lofty, but candid and trust-
inspiring; a mouth that spoke of gentleness
and steadfastness, and then — grey, hungry
Perhaps Philip was more susceptible to in-
definable impressions than are most men. As
he took Ralph's hand and met the look in his
eyes, he felt a thrill run through his frame,
that made Ralph a person of importance in
his sight from henceforth. So far he had
despised him. He had stopped him now
with the half-formed intention of using him
to settle that matter of his with Henry. But
the yearning eyes altered his tone of thought
at once, and he stood before Ralph silent and
ashamed. He felt guilty before him ; he felt
that he owed him a debt which perhaps he
could never repay; he felt that, in some in-
explicable manner, his lot was mingled with
Ralph's, and that Ralph had the right to the
highest place. It was all a dim, undefined,
incomprehensible sensation or revelation, but
it robbed him of speech ; and he stood before
Ralph holding his hand forgetfully, with his
eyes cast down, and an unwonted flush on his
brown and healthy cheek.
Ralph, too, was silent. His thoughts were
far other than Philip's. He was not thinking
of him in connection with himself, but in con-
nection with Henry. He had no idea how
much Philip knew, nor how much he cared.
His one desire was to keep him and the man
beside him apart. A short conversation fol-
lowed, of the vague sort that people hold when
their thoughts are far away, and then they
parted. Thinking it over afterwards In the
light of subsequent events, neither Philip nor
Ralph could remember what had been said,
nor whether the third man had contributed
aught to the few disjointed sentences. Philip
went on his way, haunted by two wild blue
eyes that had once been his delight for the
62 A DREAMER.
Ideal youth and beauty that had shone from
them ; and by a yearning grey pair that spoke
to him with an appealingness still more ter-
rible, because he did not so well understand
Steps followed him rapidly, and presently
he was stopped by the stranger. He slowly
brought back his thoughts to the actual from
the dreaming, spirit-haunted world Into which
they had wandered.
" You don't remember me, Mr Temple ? ''
^* No," said Philip, abstractedly; ''I don't."
''I had the ferry at Black's Bend — I and
old Mr Jenkins."
" Ah yes. I remember Jenkins. You were
his partner then, I suppose ; a mysterious
personage we never saw — supposed to be a
The man laughed. '' Not much of a myth.
I remember you young gentlemen well enough,
and the larks you kept up. Mr Lindsay, now
— he was one of the quiet ones."
" And you and Mr Mortimer wasn't so
quiet as some — eh, sir ? I wonder now if you
can tell me where Mr Mortimer is. I've a
fancy to see him. He lent me some money
once, he did, and I've heard say he isn't so
flush now as he might be ; and though he
said he never wished to hear more of it,
I'd be glad to get the debt off my mind.
A pleasant-spoken young gentleman was Mr
Philip stopped in his walk, and leaning
back against the railings at the side of the
pavement, surveyed his companion. He be-
gan to recollect him now — a dumpy, respect-
able man, apt to make himself useful about
the boats. Philip had been great on the
river in his Cambridge days. This man was
the very person he wanted, to meet Henry
for him to - night, and convey a message to
'' Do you know what Mr Mortimer is doing
now ? " said Philip, to gain a little time for
" Well, sir, I know this much, that Mr
Mortimer hasn't — well, as good a coat to
64 A DREAMER.
his back as you have. Td help him If I
could. He did me more than one good turn
In his day, sir, and maybe It's my day now.
I had a tidy bit of fortune left me lately by
my brother In New Zealand, and old Jenkins
Is dead and has left me the business. It's a
good business In Its way." The man looked
very respectable as he spoke, and fingered
his new chimney-pot hat with conscious satis-
*' Well, look here," said Philip, presently ;
" Mr Mortimer asked me to meet him to-
night, and I find I can't possibly do any-
thing of the kind. I shall be greatly ob-
liged If you can see him for me, and explain
to him that I'm off to Paris at seven o'clock.
Will you give him this five-pound note from
me, and tell him I am going to write to
him at once, sending him some more money
— I — owe him ? " said Philip, awkwardly.
*' Here's the address he gave me, and he
suggested eleven o'clock to - night. I have
written my direction on the back : you may
as well give It to him."
" Very good, sir ; you may be sure I'll give
it him right. I'll write and let you know if I
see him. Good day, sir."
The man disappeared rapidly. " That's a
lucky meeting," said Philip to himself, and
thought of Henry more comfortably.
That night Henry Mortimer was arrested at
half-past eleven o'clock. The story of Philip's
interview with Mr Jenkins's partner reached
him with Philip's bank-note honestly delivered.
*' Traitor ! " he exclaimed ; and Ralph, hearing
the story later, echoed the word. Philip was
serenely unconscious — on board the Calais
Agnes had not yet returned to Paris, and
her young lover felt the bright city desolate
without her. Letters are a poor substitute for
a voice and a presence. Philip was lonely,
and for some unknown reason sad. Henry
and Ralph haunted him in his dreams, and
at times he felt an achlnof sense of dissatis-
faction, whether with the present or the future
he could not tell. There was a tendency to
morbidness in Philip's nature, enough to have
VOL. I. E
66 A DREAMER.
made him careful had he suspected Its pres-
ence ; but morbidness is not easily distinguish-
able from sensitiveness, — a good quality in
human nature, and one not to be lightly
One day Philip, wandering aimlessly through
the streets, remembered little Griselda, and
made his way to her lonely dwelling. The
child sprang to meet him.
"I've bought some books," said she, proudly.
" Will these do ? I got so puzzled in the shop,
because the man seemed in a great hurry, and
I had no idea what I wanted."
Philip turned them over, amused at the col-
lection. There was a German translation of
Plato's ' Republic ; ' a volume of the * Specta-
tor ; ' Murray's ' Grammar ; ' Schiller's ' Thirty
Years' War;' and a treatise on Communism
by a French theorist.
" Are they nice ? " said Griselda. " Will
they do ? "
''Yes, I suppose so," said Philip, slowly.
" Are they a litde dry, do you think ? " and
he produced, not without a certain feeling of
shame, a volume of fairy tales he had pur-
chased for her on his way.
" I like this sort of book," said Griselda,
when he had made her understand that it was
a present, and she had nearly cried with pleas-
ure : ** I might have bought one in the shop,
but I thought it wouldn't be instructive."
" Instructive, you little goose ! The best
way of instructing yourself is by reading what-
ever you like best."
Griselda gazed at him with widely-opened
eyes. At last she shook her head. '' That
isn't what you said before at all," she ob-
" It is quite sensible though," said Philip.
" If I didn't say it before, it was because I was
trying to do you good — a great mistake on
my part. Now I am going to say what I
think, without minding if I do you good or
not. One never learns anything by being
done good to, or by trying to do good to
one's self. One must be thoroughly natural,
and do whatever one likes best ; unless one
likes something evidently wrong. Don't look
6S A DREAMER.
at me like that, child, as if I were the Pope,
and must speak the truth ; " for the great eyes
were fixed on him again with their question-
ing, confiding gaze. Griselda sat down quietly.
" I think you are a very odd person," she
said, " and I don't believe you mean what you
say." Philip laughed.
*' Yes I do, Griselda ; but it would take too
long to explain it to you. You mustn't want
me to instruct you. I am not at all suitable
for a teacher."
" But I must ask you things. There is no
one else. Don't you ever get eaten up by a
question ? "
*' No ; yes, — I don't know. You ask such
puzzling questions, Griselda. Now let us talk
of something else."
Griselda was ready to talk about anything.
" Do you know, I think you are something
like Henry," said Philip to her, as he was
" Am I ? But he has beautiful blue eyes,
not at all like mine. Are you very fond of
Henry, Mr Temple?"
- Very. Why ? "
" I don't know if I ought to tell you ; you
might not like it."
" Yes, Griselda, tell me," said Philip, smiling.
" Because he is not fond of you. He said
once he wished he had never seen you. I
wondered why, but he would not say. Will
you tell me ? "
" Not to-day, Griselda. I must say good-
bye now," said Philip, feeling as if he had
received a slap in the face from the little
child before him.
" Are you angry with me for having told
" No, not at all. Let me go, Griselda. I
am in a hurry. I will tell you more another
time, perhaps. Good-bye, you little thing ! "
It was a disagreeable impression to receive
at parting : the old affection for Henry had
revived in Philip's heart.
The weeks passed on. Agnes was home
again, and Mr Mortimer and his little girl
were preparing to leave Paris. The day be-
fore their departure, Agnes sent for her little
70 A DREAMER.
cousin, to bid her good-bye. Griselda was
very quiet and sad. She did not talk much,
but sat on a low stool gazing up Into Agnes 's
beautiful face, and occasionally turning her
head to look at Philip, and smile when he
tried to amuse her. Then she went away,
vanishing out of their presence and their
thoughts — a poor, little, pretty child, so pen-
sive and lonely ! but out of their reach for
the present, living a life they could not touch.
Very likely they might not see her again :
they were going away from her, on another
and a smoother pathway through the wide,
Philip was sorry for her. Agnes cared little
after the child was out of her sight.
But Philip had not yet quite parted from
Griselda. It was getting late that evening,
and he was sitting in his own bachelor apart-
ments busy with his work, when a servant
came In, saying that a little girl wanted to see
him. There was a momentary feeling of
annoyance on Philip's part, and he received
Griselda kindly but coldly. The child felt
this, and the pain on her Httle face deepened.
She sat down, saying nothing, with tears roll-
ing silently down her cheeks.
'' What is it, little one ?" said Philip, touched,
and coming over to her side that he might
play with her long curls.
She looked up, all her confidence returning.
" I am come to tell you something," she
said. " I knew you would care. It is so
dreadful to be with people who don't care.
Henry is in prison in England."
Philip did not speak : he remained standing
looking down upon her, the curl still in his
'' You will find all about it there," continued
Griselda, holding out a piece of an English
newspaper ; " and papa had a letter besides.
Papa is so terribly angry. Wq are going
away to-morrow, and I suppose we can't do
anything. I came to ask if you could do
something. Can you get him out ? "
*' No, Griselda," said Philip, in a low voice :
" when people are put in prison, they can't
be got out. They must stay their time.
72 A DREAMER.
What is it for ? Perhaps Henry did not
'' I don't quite know what it is. Forgery,
the paper says. What does it mean ? "
'' That is steaHng, Griselda. Henry could
not have done that."
" Ah, but he says he did. He doesn't seem
to be sorry. Don't you think it is very dread-
ful ? Papa is very angry. He says Henry
might have * managed better.' He does not
care about his doing wrong a bit. Oh, I wish
somebody cared besides me ! "
" I daresay Henry does care really, Griselda.
Let me read this." The date of the young
man's arrest brought a sickening sense of
explanation : Henry's disguise; Ralph's anxiety;
the curiosity of. the man, Mr Jenkins's partner.
Philip crushed the paper in his hand, and
stood looking at Griselda. She was standing
too, looking up at him. It was piteous to see
the weight of sorrow on the childish, delicate
face ; but Philip was not heeding Griselda then.
*' I knew you would care," said the child,
at length ; '' not only because they have put
him in prison. But can't anything be done
to make papa less angry ? He says he will
never speak to Henry again, and that he might
have managed better," she repeated, with in-
dignant scorn ; " as if that was the part to mind
about ! But oh," she added, the tears com-
ing again, " it is too sad to think of him in
prison ! Can't anything be done ?"
** No, Griselda. I am afraid not ; now. I
will help him when he comes out."
'* Thank you," she said. " I knew you
would care. I must go back now. I came
out without leave, and papa will be angry about
Philip walked home with her. The young
man and the little girl passed through the
streets silently, till they had reached the dingy
baker's shop. Then Philip lifted her and
kissed her forehead. *' I will take care of him,
Griselda," he said ; " I will set him all right
when he comes out."
Philip's first impulse was to go to Agnes,
and talk it over with her; but he checked him-
self. He could not talk about it. It was too
74 A DREAMER.
keen a sorrow for himself: no one could un-
derstand, not even Agnes. Perhaps she knew
it already, and had not told him. Henry was
her cousin ; but nothing to her, and Philip
could not expect her to sympathise in the pain
that was tearing his own heartstrings. Yet he
would have liked to be with her, to feel her
pressing his hands, if she would have asked
no questions. That sort of comforting seemed
too much to expect in this garrulous world,
and the pain of explaining was worse than the
pain of solitude. He could not explain to her
why he felt himself a partner in Henry's
crime and punishment. He could hardly
explain it to himself
Mr Mortimer had been ailing since A^nes's
return from England : his illness suddenly
became serious, and the doctors gave no hope
of his recovery. Philip Temple, himself in
low spirits, felt quite in sympathy with the
quiet sadness of his betrothed at this time.
He delighted in seeing her by her father's
couch, composed and gentle, thoughtful and
judicious. Philip had no particular affection
for Mr Mortimer ; and it did not occur to him
that a little less composure, a little more evi-
dence of sorrow, might have been natural in
a daughter. He never suspected that indiffer-
ence might be the cause of her quietness. As
I say, Philip did not know Agnes very well :
she was hidden in a veil of idealism he had
thrown over her, and many of the qualities he
76 A DREAMER.
thought he saw In her, existed only in himself.
Indifference was a quality of which Philip
had no experience, and he naturally failed to
imagine Its existence in Agnes. He thought
her general silence was reserve — a thing he
knew well ; and he supposed her compo-
sure to come from self-control — a quality he
admired greatly. Agnes saw his delusions,
and smiled to herself; but she was well pleased
that he should keep them. In so far as Agnes
liked any one, she liked this earnest young
man, whose eyes flashed and sparkled, even
when his lips were firmly closed — whose warm
young hand, with its strong rapid pulse, was
a contrast to her own cool stately one enclosed
Of late Mr Mortimer had conceived a liking
for Philip. He was not satisfied without a
visit from him every day. His eyes were
used to rest on him with satisfaction and con-
fidence, and often it seemed on his tongue to
say something of more importance than the
daily chit-chat which Philip fancied was all
they could have In common. At length his
Strength seemed fairly exhausted, and the doc-
tors talked of hours instead of days.
It was three o'clock, and Agnes sat alone
by her father's side. He had spoken long and
earnestly to her that day.
" You will do it, Agnes ? Remember it is
my last dying wish. I slighted my father's
dying wish, and it has thrown a curse over
my life. If I had a week more — two days
of health — I would do it myself It is im-
possible. I have delayed too long. I can
but leave it to you."
" Yes, father," said Agnes, in her clear,
*' You promise me ? " he insisted, as if he
scarcely trusted her. " You will see that
justice is done ? "
. " Yes," repeated Agnes.
*' Take a pen and write down what I have
" I know all you said."
" Write it down, Agnes : then there can be
no mistake. Now, child — now. Write it in
my name, and I will sign it."
JS A DREAMER.
Agnes wrote silently.
" Let me see, Agnes. Yes, that will do.
Put at the end, ' I wish It found and acted
upon at once.' Then I will sign It."
Agnes obeyed unwillingly.
'' Where Is young Temple } I wish to see
him about It. Have you sent for him, Agnes ?"
'' Philip may feel himself aggrieved, papa.
You had better let me explain it to him
*' Nonsense ! Send for him at once. I am
pretty sure what his feeling will be."
'' It will not be so easily done as you think."
" Found, do you mean ? Easily done ?
When I have told you all ? "
*' No ; I do not mean the finding. I mean
" Temple will manage It. It Is a work that
will just suit him. If he swears at me, I can't
help It. A lifelong misery Is worse than any
amount of abuse. If you saw things as I do,
Agnes, you would wish to be spared what I
have suffered. There has been a curse on us
all," he said again.
" I do not see it, father. They have pros-
pered less than we."
The dying man started up. " But you will
do it, Agnes ? You have promised, have you
" Where is Tempje ? Why is he not here?"
'' He will come this evening as usual."
"It may be too late, Agnes. Send for
She left the room, seemingly to obey ; but
Philip did not come before the evening. Mr
Mortimer was sinking fast, — almost too ill to
speak. He pressed Philip's hand with fever-
" Why are you so late ? " he whispered.
Philip glanced at the clock ; it was ten
minutes sooner than the time when he usually
joined them. He turned to Agnes, but read
nothing in her face. " I am sorry I did not
hurry more," he said, apologetically.
" You will do it ? " said Mr Mortimer, after
several minutes, during which he had found no
8o A DREAMER.
'' Surely," said Philip, startled ; " tell me."
** Agnes knows. She has promised. Show
him — the paper."
" Yes, papa, later. Do not trouble yourself.
You may trust us." Philip looked at her in-
quiringly. *' I will tell you afterwards," she
Mr Mortimer closed his eyes. He did not
speak again, but several hours passed before
he breathed his last. Just before he died
he turned his head again to look at his
daughter, as if to recall his last wish to her
mind, and Agnes smiled reassuringly.
Philip led his betrothed into another room
and clasped her in his arms. She wept.
Philip had expected to see her weep, and
tears from his own eyes fell on her dark,
bowed head. He liked to feel her leaning
upon him ; his arm supported her with re-
newed tenderness and dignity. While his
tears fell with a boyish abandon, he felt him-
self more of a man than he had done before.
Life would be no playtime of experiment and
dilettanteism in future.
" Tell me, dearest," said Philip, presently,
"what did he speak of? What is the wish
he has intrusted to us to carry out ? "
" It is nothing difficult, Philip. Some money
he wished given to poor Henry, that my
uncle asked for urgently. It seems almost
throwing money away giving it to Henry; but,
of course, we must attend to papa's wish.
Three or four days ago he wrote down for
me the sum he wished Henry to have. He
spoke particularly about it, because it is not
in his will."
" Yes, that will be easily settled. There is
a great deal before us, Agnes," said Philip,
*' I am so thankful to have you to help In It
all," said Agnes, clinging to him, for indeed
she felt the need of Philip's help In what was
coming. She had put him off for the present,
but had by no means resolved that she would
not speak more frankly later. It was not a
thing to be told In a hurry.
'* You will rest now, dearest," said Philip ;
*' you need rest."
VOL. I. r
82 A DREAMER.
But when Philip was gone and Agnes had
shut herself into the solitude of her own room,
it was not of rest that she thought. She threw
off the mask she had worn for several hours,
and abandoned herself to the struggle that had
to be faced before she next saw her lover.
She was in a state of painful uncertainty that
made her regret each thing she had done, and
yet acknowledge that she had acted wisely.
Agnes was not disposed to analyse her con-
duct and her motives. Truthful analysis causes
unpleasant discoveries sometimes, and we do
not like giving ugly names to our own actions
and wishes. Agnes Mortimer was convinced
that she was a very prudent, well-intentioned
woman : she did not care to probe this convic-
tion with a view to finding unsoundness in it.
The following day found her still undecided,
but the balance of her thoughts inclined to
silence. Philip did not refer to her father's
words again, and several days passed with
no more on Agnes's part. To speak would be
trebly difficult now. Yet one day she began
to pave the way to do so if it should seem
desirable. The first step was to see some-
thino^ of the effect such a revelation miorht
have on Philip.
*' Do you know," said Agnes, while her
heart beat fast with unnecessary apprehen-
sion, "that Henry is in prison on a charge
of fraud ? "
" Yes, Agnes, I know," said Philip. This
subject had been untouched between them
" You will not thank me for bringing you
such disreputable relations," said Agnes.
"He belongs to me m.ore than to you,
Agnes," said Philip.
" You thought a great deal of Henry," ob-
" No ; I think not. But he belongs to me,
If you can understand what I mean. I feel
this that he has done, something personal for
which I shall be ashamed all my life."
" You will feel it more when he is your rela-
tion ; it will be still harder to forgive him for
" That is true, Agnes — as to the disgrace ;
84 A DREAMER.
but I knew and loved him too well not to
*' And If — If you had not known and loved
him so well, you would not be able to forgive ?
you would feel the disgrace to me — to us both
— more ? "
'' I suppose so," said Philip. '' It Is not easy
to forgive people for disgracing us. In some
cases I should hardly try to forgive."
Agnes turned away. Alone again In her
room, she once more considered the alterna-
tive presented to her.
" It Is Impossible," she said ; ** he must not
know. I could not tell him. He feels that
sort of thing more than most people do. He
would never forgive papa, and he would de-
spise us all. It Is decided now. I will not
Probably whatever Philip had said. In the
little talk with the side purpose in it, Agnes's
resolution would have been the same.
Soon after this, Philip returned to England,
the Government commission that had afforded
him a place having finished its investigations.
He mieht have been recommended for other
employment had he wished it, but his old un-
settled idleness had returned. He intended
to be a first-rate country gentleman ; but in
order to fit himself for this vocation he had
much to learn, and without leisure time he
could not learn. He took lodgings in Blooms-
bury, and spent his mornings in the library
of the British Museum learning Sanskrit. Mr
Temple believed his son to be studying Polit-
ical Economy, and it is true that Philip had
turned his thoughts in that direction : he
devoted his evenings to writing a slashing-
rejoinder to Mr Mill's latest suggestions ; and
had elaborated sundry quite original doctrines,
which he was prepared to reduce to practice
on the earliest opportunity. But he did not
care much about Political Economy. Ancient
Indian mythology attracted him far more.
Mr Temple found out this waste of time,
and wrote expostulatingly : —
" The classics themselves are useful only as
a means to an end. For instance, I am glad
to deem myself a fairly good Greek scholar,
86 A DREAMER.
but the fact has no importance for me except
in so far as It bears on the study of theology.
In your position you will need Httle Latin and
less Greek ; and you have already more than
a sufficient acquaintance with these languages
and literatures. By diving deeper into them,
as you are doing at present, when so many
weightier subjects are pleading with you for
study, you are wasting your time as surely as
if you were devoting it to third-rate novels.
As to the Indian language, which cannot even
boast an affinity to the Hebrew, I consider it
a perfectly useless study except for a phono-
logist. Reflect, my dear son, on the short
time left to you before you enter on a life that
will entail Immense responsibilities, and for
which you have not been prepared by any
technical education. Your wife will look to
you for advice and guidance. But very shortly,
I fear, you will see cause to repent that you
have squandered these months, which, by judi-
cious application, might have proved a source
of lasting benefit to yourself and to the ten
talents lent you by the Heavenly Master, for
which you will some day have to render a
Philip shrugged his shoulders, and replied
by an aphorism : —
*' In the pursuit of the Interesting, neither
the wisest nor the dullest man can avoid being
himself overtaken by the useful and the unin-
Whereupon he began to dip Into Arabic.
April came : It was a fine spring, and already
the leaves were green upon the trees. Long
sunny days, with no faint touch of easterly
wind ; gentle showers, to lay March's unwhole-
some legacy of dust ; soft hazy evenings,
tempting to ride or boat by sweet sugges-
tions of summer glow, tempered by a reflec-
tion of tender February coolness ; masses of
flowers, brought In from the country and distri-
buted through the streets by hopeful children
rejoicing in the growing warmth — primroses.
Lent lilies, hyacinths, wallflowers, each with
Its luscious scent and pure yellow, pink, or
brown ; — It was all typical of what April in
London ought to be ; and Philip, always sensi-
88 A DREAMER.
tlve to idealised natural impressions, felt the
strong pulses of hope and happiness beating
within him, in unison with the throbbing heart
Not unmixed happiness, however. Wander-
ing under the trees of Kensington Gardens,
he could lose all sense of the world's trouble,
in a dream of his own and his beautiful bride's
future united life, over which the halo of
young anticipation shone with a golden light,
— till a recollection would check his springing
footstep and bring the flush of pain to his face.
He would pause, and press his hand to his
brow, feeling that this golden spring was
jarring hopelessly with another heart, once
brighter than his own ; and often then he
would leave the pleasant garden, with its twi-
light shadows and sunset - illumined glades,
preferring to plunge into narrow, doleful alleys,
where the poor people dwelt — where he could
dream and fancy indeed, but not of unmixed
gladness and joy.
For Henry was in London also, imprisoned
for two long years ; and Philip knew well that
Henry's was no nature to bear this unscathed.
He deserved it, people said ; his guilt was un-
questioned, and the punishment was considered
light, for even the judge had been influenced
by the gracious presence and the bonny boyish
face of the young culprit, who made no ex-
cuses, who was known by all to be guilty, who
was blamed and pitied by all. But Henry,
w^ho deserved more punishment than he had re-
ceived, who admitted his guilt, and was not in
the least oppressed by it, was like some beau-
tiful caged bird that cannot live without liberty,
and that beats its wings all day against the
cage in a fruitless, unreasoning yearning to
reach the free air once more. Philip knew
Henry well enough to guess at the misery re-
straint would cast over him. While his indigna-
tion at the boy's crime was more intense, more
bitter, than that of any of his other friends, he
yet pitied him with a more discerning grief
than even loving, merciful Ralph could bestow.
Ralph Lindsay knew that Philip was in
London, but he had not cared to call upon
him, and they did not meet till one day far on
90 A DREAMER.
ill April, when Ralph at last went to speak to
him about Henry. Philip was out, but Ralph
went into his room and waited. There was a
portrait of Agnes on the wall ; books lay about
in all directions, books on all sorts of subjects,
evidently much used and treated with more
familiarity than ceremony. On the writing-
table lay a pile of MS. Ralph took up the
topmost sheet. It w^as in Philip's writing ; a
fairy tale — at least, it began as a fairy tale —
most simple and nazve, but presently wandered
off into a metaphysical argument, abstruse,
bewildering, whimsical. Ralph read it through,
and laid it down again on the table. Beside it
stood a vase, a lodging-house vase of red glass,
filled with flowers, buttercups and daisies,
the last flowers you would look for in a young
man's room. Ralph sighed, and went to the
window. He disliked Philip — thought him
unprincipled, dangerous, heartless ; but he was
jealous of him. Ralph had not envied Philip's
superior abilities during their contemporary
college career : but now he would have liked
to have written that fairy tale ; he would have
liked pictures of a beautiful woman about his
room ; nay, he would have liked that jug of
field flowers. The flowers in themselves were
very little ; he could gather some himself on
Sunday when he was to dine at Hampstead
with a friend. But his buttercups in a red
vase would be a copy of Philip's ; he would
rather have thought of gathering them himself.
Steps were heard ascending the stairs. Ralph
knew the firm, rhythmical tread, such as his
ordinary feet seemed incapable of producing.
He bit his lip, and frowned.
Philip started on seeing Ralph. They met
with embarrassment. Philip was cold and con-
strained ; Ralph nervous and anxious. Henry
had been three months in prison, and to-
morrow Ralph was going to see him. Had
Temple any message ? It seemed an unne-
cessary question on Ralph's part, one that he
himself disliked to put ; but his sense of jus-
tice required it. There were so many things
Temple ought to say to Henry.
Philip's answer disconcerted Ralph. " I
will see him myself"
92 A DREAMER.
In Ralph's mind was a foolish awe of Philip.
Instead of simply asserting his own intentions,
as he had every right to do, he spoke plead-
ingly — ''I have arranged it with Henry. It
is his wish that I should eo."
" I will come with you," said Philip. He
was thinking only of himself and Henry, and
forgot that Ralph's wishes might demand con-
Ralph made no audible remonstrance. He
disliked the plan exceedingly ; but at least he
would see Henry himself He could yield thus
far, if yielding this would satisfy. Philip, self-
absorbed, did not notice Ralph's reluctance.
When the morrow came, they together pre-
sented themselves at the prison-gates.
Reader, have you ever visited a friend in
prison ? The narrow corridor barred on either
side, so that you cannot touch him ; the lis-
tener ; the hollow clank of the keys ; the dull
echo to your own constrained voice ; the pale
face gazing at you through the bars ; the prison
dress ; the languid step ; — it is a scene you will
not forget. And if the prisoner is one so
young and fair as Henry — if you see as much
change in him as Ralph and Philip saw in
Henry — it will haunt you for days after!
Philip had not been five minutes in Henry's
presence before he wished he had not come.
The uselessness of the pain made itself too evi-
dent. Henry had not much to say — one wild
complaint against the confinement ; nothing
else seemed to affect him much. It was killing
him, he cried. He scarcely spoke to Philip,
appearing to cling entirely to Ralph. And
Philip could not speak to Henry. The mere
presence of the official silenced him : the man's
stony expression, assumed from a delicate wish
to annihilate himself as much as possible, made
him monstrous and terrible to Philip. Ralph
himself w^as an absolute barrier to free inter-
course. And, above all, Henry's state of mind
was Incomprehensible to Philip. Was the con-
finement really all that oppressed him ? Philip
felt so utterly out of sympathy with him, that
no words rose to his lips. Reproaches were
out of place, and compassion and grief were
of a kind too deep and mysterious for expres-
94 A DREAMER.
sion. He stood silent, with compressed lips ;
as stony, apparentl}^, as the speechless, expres-
Not so Ralph. His was a loving, simple
nature, with few complexities and few ques-
tionable tendencies. He was more influenced
by objects themselves than by his thoughts
about them, and feeling with him was bearable
only if translatable into action. The sight of
Henry, who as yet was the dearest person in
the world to him — for men like Ralph are
supremely constant by nature — pale, ill, miser-
able, banished all thought but the longing to
comfort him. Ralph forgot the presence of
other persons ; forgot Henry s ill-doing ; forgot
his own incompetence to remove the pain,
whatever its nature, that was driving the boy
to desperation. And Henry, whose wavering,
inconstant nature had been keenly wounded
by what he considered Philip's treachery (for
no explanation had been offered of the circum-
stance leading to his arrest), turned again to
his earlier friend with more vehemence than
was exactly genuine. Ralph and 'Henry had
much to say; Philip and Henry said nothing
but the merest commonplaces.
The meagre time granted to the visitors was
over, and the warder was preparing to lead
Henry away. His closing sentence to Ralph
he prefaced with these words, uttered with a
deliberation contrasting forcibly with his pre-
vious excited sentences; —
" I shall die before the first year is over :
this is good-bye in reality perhaps."
The visitors silently descended the long
stone stairs, where conversation seemed illegal.
Philip, following Ralph, had fallen into a reverie,
of which Henry's prophecy was the motive. If
he were really dying — if he were really to be
given a fresh start in another world — might it
not be the best thing ? Nay, was it not surely
the best thing ? What could he, could any man,
do for him ? Was God less merciful than
man ? And was not God infinitely more
powerful, more wise, more righteous ? " Don't
leave him with me," cried his heart ; " I could
only fail, and he would be sacrificed. ' God
96 A DREAMER.
The thought was the first breath of comfort
that had come to Philip since he had entered
the prison-gates. As they issued once more
into the street, he turned to Ralph to shake his
hand at parting.
Ralph, too, was repeating to himself Henry's
parting words — " It is good-bye in reality
As Philip touched him, he raised a dull,
stricken face, where no consolation pierced the
enveloping gloom of sorrow. The very thought
that had brought a breath of hope to Philip
had been the culmination of Ralph's grief. If
he never saw his Henry again !
Ralph said nothing for a moment as Philip
took his hand. Then he sharply withdrew it,
and spoke bitterly ; —
*' Good-bye, Temple. I hope you are con-
tent with your work."
Philip made no answer. His heart had
leaped up under the sudden revulsion of feel-
ing as Ralph's misery encountered his own
lightened pain : he scarcely heard the bitter
words, though years afterwards they rose In
his memory. He saw only the mournful,
hungry eyes, where disappointment struggled
with desire and reproach. Again the strange
sense that his lot and Ralph's were inexplic-
ably bound together forced itself upon him ;
and as Lindsay walked slowly away, Philip
stood before the prison -gate watching him,
while his breath came painfully, and his heart
beat with a swiftness and strength that almost
robbed him of physical consciousness, and yet
deepened the vivid mental impression.
On entering, Philip found a letter from Agnes
asking him to visit her at Salehurst, where she
was living with a maiden aunt. Mr Benson,
her father's lawyer, was coming on business,
and must be asked to stay for dinner. Would
Philip come and help her to entertain him ?
He would remain till the next day, of course.
Philip agreed to the proposal — not with his
customary alacrity, perhaps. Agnes's motive
in asking him on this occasion was of so
perfectly simple a nature that it needs ex-
planation. Mr Benson was a disagreeable
person, and Miss Mortimer did not wish to
be bothered with him. Philip was the most
convenient person to whose shoulders the
burden could be transferred, and Agnes ac-
cordingly passed it gracefully over. It had
long been her unspoken principle never to
do anything disagreeable, if another person
could be made to do It Instead.
Salehurst, where Philip was to exercise his
vocation of first-rate country gentleman, was
one of those beautiful historical places of
which England Is justly proud. Philip's
emotions as he mounted the fine horse that
Agnes used to send to meet him at the
little country station were always of the most
pleasurable kind. Of course they were not
wholly unconnected with the fact that It was a
fine horse ; that the people touched their hats
to him with much respect as he passed ; that
Salehurst Park, though not of great extent,
possessed the finest beech-trees In the county ;
that the house was old and stately, with a gal-
lery of family portraits, and a bed-chamber In
which Queen Elizabeth had reposed her regal
head. Very few people are wholly insensible
to such circumstances, and certainly Philip was
not one of the few. Salehurst had great at-
tractions for him; and though he never ceased
wondering at the strange trick of fortune which
100 A DREAMER.
had laid it at his feet, he was not at all disposed
to quarrel with fortune for the arrangement.
But Philip's vanity was always more inclined
to glory in what he was than in what he had :
at present it was rather In what he would be
than in what he would have. He meant to
be such a model of a country gentleman!
and what a queen Agnes would be for miles
Mr Benson was elderly, — fond of snuff and
fond of port wine. Philip took a dislike to
him at once ; thought the dinner would never
end, and that Mr Benson was determined to
be late for his train afterwards, as he chatted
lazily to him alone in the dining-room when
the ladles had withdrawn.
But at last he hit upon a subject that ar-
rested Philip's wandering attention, made him
sit straight up in his chair for half an hour,
and start with surprise when the carriage was
announced that was to take the old man to
the station. Not a pleasant subject appa-
rently, nor pleasantly spoken of; for Philip
frowned as he coated the lawyer, and scarcely
touched his hand at parting. Then he turned
to Agnes —
** I am going to study moonHght on the
trees for an hour," he said, and disappeared
into the night.
It was raining, but PhiHp paced up and
down near the house unheeding, his brows
knit and his Hps pressed tightly together.
When he came in, Miss Davidson, Agnes's
aunt, had gone to bed, and his betrothed
was waiting for him in the Hbrary. PhiHp
threw himself into a chair, and looked at her
abstractedly. He answered her observations
about tea and his damp appearance with so
preoccupied an air that Agnes laid down her
embroidery and examined him carefully.
*' Something is the matter, Philip. What
He did not answer at once; then he plunged
into the subject occupying his thoughts.
" Agnes, that fellow Benson has been telling
me the most extraordinary story."
Again Miss Mortimer scrutinised her young
lover ; but she answered quietly —
102 A DREAMER.
''You must not attach too much importance to
what a gossiping old man like Mr Benson says.''
'' I hope you will be able to prove to me
that it is only a gossiping story," said Philip,
with some sharpness.
Agnes felt her heart beating with a vague
sense of apprehension, but she calmed herself
with argument. " I am sure," continued Philip,
'' that it is as new to you as it is to me. I
hope, for the sake of our peace of mind, you
will be able to show that it is an invention."
'* Well, what is it ? "
*' It is about the way in which your father
came by this property."
'' I thought you knew all about that."
** I knew a little about it. Your uncle,
Henry's father, was the eldest son, but was
" I told you that myself," said Agnes.
" I know you did. Do you know any more
about it ? "
'' Nay ; tell me what you have heard."
Philip drew closer to Agnes, and arrested
her work with his hand.
" Agnes — it is not true, I daresay — Mr Ben-
son says your grandfather had changed his
mind aeain before he died ; he wished his
eldest son to succeed him."
Agnes moved sHghtly, but did not reply.
"He drew up a will to that effect under this
Mr Benson's direction ; he signed it ; and to
the last day of his life he expressed his wish
to be in accordance with that. Your father
and every one knew it. Yet after his death
no will could be found but the former one,
leaving almost everything to his younger
"Well?" said Agnes.
" Did you know anything of all that ? "
Philip was very close to her, and his eyes
were fixed on hers : Agnes had no time to
" I have heard my father speak of it."
Philip rose and walked over to the chimney-
piece ; he stood with his back to the fire, lean-
ing one elbow on the dark ledge in the oak
carving. He was still watching her. She
pursued her embroidery with great calmness.
104 A DREAMER.
It was some time before either of them spoke
" I can't understand how Mr Mortimer could
have taken possession under such circum-
stances," said PhlHp, at length.
*' That is rather an unkind way of putting
it," said Agnes, gently smiling; "what else
could he do ? If the second will was not
forthcoming, there was nothing for It but to
act on the first."
*' What can have become of it ? "
" That Is what no one could find out."
'* But, Agnes " Philip paused.
'' Well, dear ? "
'* The old man thought it was all right. He
did not mean his first will to be acted upon.
He must have destroyed the wrong one by
mistake or something."
" I don't see how he could have done that."
*' Well, at any rate he anticipated, no doubt.
He intended his eldest son to sttcceed himr
Agnes made no reply. " Was It not so, dear-
est ?" .
" Some people like giving trouble. I have
often heard of persons whose wills turned out
entirely different from what was expected."
" Was there any doubt, Agnes, as to what
he wished ? "
" I suppose papa was satisfied that It was all
right before he took possession, as you call It.'^
" Are you satisfied ? "
" I don't see that It concerns us," said Agnes :
*' why need we discuss It ? "
" I think It concerns us very materially."
- Why ? "
" Why ? Don't you see, Agnes ? "
" I dislike judging people's conduct, especi-
ally when they are not by to explain them-
'* Agnes, It does concern you."
*' Because — because — Agnes, because you
are now in your father's place."
Agnes looked up, not as If It was a new
Idea to her, but as If she at last fully under-
stood Philip's attitude. She did not reply,
" Don't you see, dearest ? "
I06 A DREAMER.
" I don't see exactly what you mean."
" Don't you, Agnes ?"
''What Is it?"
" It appears to me that your uncle should
have been in your father's place, and Henry in
" I daresay papa felt scruples, I should
have, certainly. But it is done now ; it can't
" Why do you say it can't be helped ? "
'' What would you propose to do ? "
" Your uncle is still alive."
" I think papa was a very much better
person to have all this money than uncle
" That has nothing to do with It." A pause.
" Agnes, don't you care about all this ? "
" I wish you would not be always asking
me if I ca7^e about things. It Is more my
business than yours."
"It Is my business, Agnes, if I am to be
She glanced at him. " What do you want
me to do, Philip ? "
'' Could you retain anything comfortably
that you thought should be your uncle's ? "
" Do you want me to give it up ? ''
" If it Is a thing you have not the right to,
you ought certainly to give it up."
" You give away my property with great
calmness. Forgive me if I consult my own
opinion a little on the subject."
" But I mean what I say, Agnes."
'' I do not exactly agree with you, however.
It is very easy to say I have no right to it.
That is the point you have to prove."
'' You admit yourself that your grandfather
intended his eldest son to be his heir. Agnes,
don't you see ? " impatiently, after a pause.
" I see that you are Quixotic and romantic."
" For goodness' sake, Agnes, do not laugh
over a matter of such importance."
'' I am not laughing ; but I view it with a
little common - sense. I have always been
afraid that your romantic nature would some
day propose some extraordinary thing that I
should have to dispute about with you. Xo
man in his senses would ask me to throw
I08 A DREAMER.
away my property on such very slender
" Slender grounds ! "
'' Any honourable, practical person will
agree with me. Ask your father."
'' Will you accept my father s arbitration ? "
"Will you accept it?"
'' It will not alter my opinion."
" Then there Is no use in consulting another
person about our affairs." A few moments'
silence, then Agnes resumed — *' If uncle Wil-
liam went to law about it, there could be no
question of the verdict."
** The law deals with generalities," said
Philip. "It knows nothing of the great law
of exceptivity. There is where conscience
" Nevertheless the law is of use In deciding
" Would you like to go to law about It ? "
" No ; I should rather the matter was not
made public." Agnes was looking down at
her work. Presently she raised her eyes and
became conscious that she had made a blun-
der. Philip was staring at her in astonish-
ment. " I mean '' she began, hastily.
" Don't try to explain it away, Agnes," said
Philip, sternly. There was another pause.
Aofnes was considerinor what had offended
him in her last remark. Philip was too much
bewildered to say another word at present.
He had never imagined that Agnes could
speak as she had done to-night. '' It is my
fault," he told himself, vaguely ; but none the
less what he really felt was that she was
At last Agnes rose, and gathered her skeins
of silk together. She did it slowly and osten-
tatiously ; for she wished Philip to speak first.
He remained silent, however.
"■ All sensible people would take my view,"
said Agnes at last. " Sleep on it, dear, and
you will admit that I am right. You know
you are inclined to be run away with by an
idea," she said, playfully ; and coming over to
his side, she put her arm round his neck, and
drew his head down to kiss him.
Philip turned away.
no A DREAMER.
Agnes flushed angrily. He was rude as
well as unreasonable. She no longer felt
sorry to be obliged to annoy him. She moved
to the door, then paused to say pointedly,
*'Good night, Philip."
He followed her, and arrested her retreat
by putting his arm round her ; but there was
nothing conciliatory in his manner. Agnes
thought it best to treat the matter playfully.
" Well, you want to kiss me now, do you ?
Have you been trying to quarrel with me,
'' No, Agnes." He kissed her, but coldly,
and led her back to her chair. " Agnes, listen
to me. I must speak plainly. I think your
father acted not only doubtfully but dis-
honourably. It Is the privilege of children to
repair their father's mistakes."
" I think both your assertions are open to
question,'' said Agnes, with spirit. '' I cannot
allow you to decide this matter for me, Philip."
'' Agnes, do you think I could touch one
penny of money that ought by right to have
been Henry's ?"
" You seem to have an exceedingly mor-
bid feeling about Henry. I cannot under-
" No, Agnes, you don't understand it," said
Philip, quietly ; " but the feeling is a fact.
I ask you to respect it."
" Certainly ; but not to the point of throw-
ing away my property. I can't imagine any
one more unsuitable to undertake it than
" I could not touch it. I hope I should feel
the same, no matter who might be the heir.
The fact that it is Henry strengthens the
feeling tenfold. Agnes, do you dread the
thought of poverty so much ? We shall not
be so very poor. Your uncle may allow you
as much as he received. I have a little
money, and I can work. I will work very
hard for you." His tone was softer, the
momentary repulsion was gone, and his affec-
tion had returned.
" I am sorry we disagree so entirely," said
Agnes, coldly. " I cannot admit your argu-
ments ; they belong to your favourite Utopia,
112 A DREAMER.
and are out of place in this common-sense
world. I hope you will come round to my
opinion. Meantime I must decide for my-
Philip looked at her sorrowfully, and with
reviving affection came temptation. He sus-
pected that the generality of consciences
would on this matter be less scrupulous than
his own. If for this once he were to act by
other people's consciences ! '' We will think
it over, Agnes," said Philip. *' I am going
home for a fortnight. Then we can make up
She kissed him and went to her own room.
The following day found Philip at the par-
sonage. There were his grandfather and his
cousin Oliver on a visit. The latter was a
very *' rising " young man, and a general
favourite. Mrs Temple, always a little jealous
of Oliver's mother, hoped her boy would be
better able to cope with his cousin than in old
times, for Philip's last visit had left a pleasant
impression on her mind. Alas, the old faults
had returned ! He was silent, cross, sarcastic.
He took not enough Interest in temperance
meetings and clothing clubs to abuse them ;
he avoided Oliver; he snubbed the General.
Mrs Temple was In despair, and annoyed
Philip with remonstrances. Mr Temple let
him alone, but In displeasure.
It was Philip's own fault, of course. In
nine cases out of ten, misunderstood people
have only themselves to blame. If Philip
had given his father the smallest hint of the
strupforle eolnor on In his own mind, he would
have been rewarded with Instant sympathy,
no matter whether Mr Temple thought him
Oulxotic or not. He mlgrht have orlven him
some advice on the matter, for the good
clergyman had not reached the age of elght-
and-forty without having accumulated a store
of practical and honourable wisdom, that
would have been Invaluable to his son. But
the young man, proud. Intolerant, and self-
contained, preferred to fight his battles unaided
and unseen. A kindly advance, a friendly
question, annoyed him ; and he thought his
mother Interfering and his father suspicious,
VOL. I. H
114 A DREAMER.
when one sensible word from himself would
have thrown down the barrier between them
in a moment.
He paid for his reserve — not only in the
harsh judgments necessarily formed by those
surrounding him. A smouldering fire does
more deadly damage than one perceived and
combated. For the present, Philip's outer
nature, .that part of him which concerned
speech, action, and circumstance, — and his
inner nature, which concerned thought and
feeling, were tolerably well balanced, and
acted in sufficient harmony. How long this
balance might be retained was questionable.
By shutting one part of himself entirely to
himself, he was not acting in a manner con-
ducive to its preservation.
'' That poor fellow, young Mortimer, Is
dead," said Oliver one day. " You knew it,
'' Yes, two days ago." Philip was lying on
his back on the hearth-rug, a newspaper In his
hands. He answered with studied quietness,
not thinking or not caring that some show of
Interest would be expected from him. His
wish was that they would not talk of Henry.
He had never lost the sense that his death
would be the best possible thing that could
happen for him. The thought of Henry alive
had been painful ; the thought of Henry in
God's hands, started afresh — dying young be-
because beloved of heaven — had come to him
as a message of peace. But the stronger the
feeling, the stronger also was the certainty that
it would not be understood, and he determined
to say nothing about Henry. He adroitly
turned the subject, and presently escaped. Mrs
Temple burst into tears.
'' Oh, Arthur, how hard he Is ! Fancy his
not caring. That poor miserable young man ! "
Great sternness had settled on the clergy-
man's benevolent face. "It is the old story,''
he said, sadly; '' he has taken a creature feebler
than himself for his amusement, and havine
got all he wanted out of it, now views its ruin
unconcernedly, because he has himself escaped
Philip's exit had been arrested in the door-
Il6 A DREAMER.
way by the sound of his mother's sob. He
had Hstened unseen. Now he re-entered, pale,
his eyes flashing. A pause followed ; every one
knew he had heard. Oliver viewed the scene
with curiosity ; there was always an element
of unexpectedness In Philip's actions and words.
The General was sorry for the boy, and wished
to make a diversion in his favour, but could
think of none.
" You are speaking of what you do not
understand," said Philip, at length. " You talk
of viewing another's ruin unconcernedly. Shall
I tell you what is of greater importance than
another's ruin ? A man's self I care about
Henry more than any of you do, but I am at
present too much occupied with myself to give
him all my thoughts."
Philip paused, and no one replying, again
escaped from the room.
Could anything be more vague, more un-
satisfactory, more calculated to give an unpleas-
ing impression ? Mrs Temple's tears flowed
faster ; the gloom on her husband's face deep-
ened. Oliver went to the window to hide the
little triumphant smile that would curl round
his lips when Philip made an especial fool of
himself The old General was very uncom-
fortable, and presently said —
" Don't judge the poor fellow too harshly.
I don't understand him a bit better than you
do ; but I have a suspicion that there is more
in him, and of a better quality, than you think."
Though not enjoying his stay at home,
Philip delayed his departure for another week.
The great question pending between himself
and Agnes had received no solution as yet in
his mind. If Agnes would not give in to him,
what was he to do ? Was he to ofive in to
her ? Now, a fortnight after she had uttered
the words that had so startled him, and viewed
by the gilding haze of memory, they did not
seem nearly so repulsive as they had done at
first. He began to think that perhaps, after all,
Aofnes's view mi^ht have its advocates amone
worthy and honourable people. Certainly it
might ; for she held it, and she was worthy
Il8 A DREAMER.
and honourable. Philip was so used to hear-
ing his theories called illusory and absurd,
that he was apt to lose the sense of the point
where their carrying-out ceased to be volun-
tary and became obligatory. Perhaps this was
a case not of lawful or unlawful, but of expe-
dient or inexpedient. If so, he might give in to
Agnes ; and Henry was no longer here with
wild eyes claiming something from him. And
he meant to be such a blessing to Salehurst :
he had so many theories to carry out there ;
and if once his theories could get free play
they would win converts at once. And he
loved Agnes so much, and thought her the
best woman in the world. He would trust
her common-sense in this matter : she was far
nobler than he, and every one said he had no
common-sense. After all, what she had said
was true. It was her affair, not his. Still
Philip hesitated ; and all the arguments on the
other side bubbled up in his mind, the more
convincing because they came naturally, need-
ing no invocation.
PRELIMINARY. 1 19
What would be the use of trying to carry
out theories if he began by choking the most
insistent theory of all ?
" No," he said, stepping into the London
train one dull, drizzling morning ; " that is a
sort of quackery, and I won't do it."
Back again in Agnes's presence ! Subject to
the influence of her stately tenderness, her
surpassing beauty ! Could he give her up ?
But it was not coming to that. As he watched
her at dinner, Philip thought he saw signs of
yielding in Agnes. She had pressed his hand
more affectionately than usual ; she talked to
him more submissively; she watched him more
assiduously. Agnes fancied she saw signs of
yielding in him : she hoped so ; she did not
want to lose him. They said no word on
the one engrossing subject till it was getting
late and Miss Davidson had retired. Then
Agnes took his hand and led him into the
library. It was a large, sombre room, heavily
panelled in oak : portraits of departed ances-
tors hung upon the walls, and their grave, silent
faces flashed weird glances out of the gloom ;
for the two candles on the mantelpiece and
the smouldering fire on the hearth gave but a
meagre and a flickering light. The two young
things, holding each other's hands before the
dying embers, looked strange and desolate in
the great silent room. It was some time be-
fore they spoke. Philip felt the gloom and
the stillness more than did Agfnes.
'' Dearest,'' said he, at length, " tell me we
need not part."
" I do not want to part," answered Agnes in
a low voice, looking down.
A long silence again ; they were beginning
to understand that neither intended to yield.
- Well, Philip ? "
" You don't mean to say you have it still
— an absurd scruple, a romantic wish ? "
" Agnes, tell me what you intend to do."
Her heart beat as she answered, " I have
made no change ; I can make no change."
" Agnes, I cannot marry you on those terms."
His voice was low and sorrowful, but distinct.
122 A DREAMER.
** There is no real obstacle but your "
'' Oh, Agnes ! " burst out Philip, throwing his
arm round her, " give it up. Can you bear
that we should part for the sake of a little
'' Don't." She moved from him a little.
" That is an exaggerated way of putting it.
Let us talk sensibly."
Philip was silent.
'' You know, Philip, it is absurd. You could
not expect me to do it. You are unreason-
He walked up and down the room in silence.
*' Well, Philip, come," joining him : '' you
are fond of me ; I am fond of you. We don't
want to part. It is my affair, not yours : let
me have my way this time, and in future we
shall agree better."
" Agnes," said Philip, slowly, '' don't you see
in the least what I mean ? why I couldn't do
it ? Have you not wavered at all ? / have
wavered. I have done my best to see with
your eyes — to take your view. Have you
never hesitated, Agnes ? "
" No, Philip, I cannot say that I have. I
should like to please you, of course, but "
" Then, Agnes '' — he stopped, and laid his
hands on her shoulders — " there is a great
gulf between us. If we disagree about this,
we shall disao-ree about other thincrs. The
rock we have split on is a typical rock."
" As usual," said Agnes, " I don't half
understand you. What do you mean exactly?"
*' I mean that I think you are in a false
position, and I cannot marry you unless you
consent to abandon it."
" Do you mean you think it is wrong,
Philip ? "
*' I have not thought much of whether it is
wronor or rio^ht. I could not do it."
" But do you think it is wrong ? "
'' Well, yes," said Philip, after a pause ; " I
suppose I do."
She sighed. " I cannot understand you,
Philip. You are an enthusiast. It seems such
a little thing — a doubtful point — especially as
it concerns you. You fancy it worse than
124 A DREAMER.
" Great and little lose their ordinary mean-
ing," said Philip, **when we apply them to
moral actions. Actions are typical, and their
importance is less in themselves than in their
cause and their effect. But this does not seem
little or doubtful to me. I could not do it.
Did I say I hesitated ? I feel no hesitation
now. Everything is clear to me as the moon-
light." He pointed to the end of the room,
unreached by the faint gleam from the candles.
" Agnes, do you see the darkness there ? But
there is light beyond! The moon and the
stars are there whether we see them or not.
Would you shut them out for ever ? They
pierce the clouds, but they cannot pierce the
windows with the shutters and the curtains
that we have made." He stepped over to
the farthest window and unbolted it. A ray
from the clear, full moon streamed in and
illuminated his earnest face and clasped
Agnes shivered. " What do you mean ? "
she said, faintly.
Philip did not answer. He returned to her
side and knelt by the fire, taking the poker
and playing with it listlessly.
" I hope we may neither of us ever do any-
thing worse," said Agnes, vigorously. From
the height of her own dark secret, Philip's Idea
seemed to her almost contemptible.
He glanced at her with a look of some sur-
prise. After a few moments he said, ''It is
different from one isolated action. It is a thing
to affect our whole lives. It is choosing a path
for life. I had exactly the same feeling when
I refused to go into the Church as my father
had wished. In God's name, Agnes, what
could be more horrible than to walk throuQrh
the world starting on the wrong path ? What
good could there be in life for a man who did
" You bewilder me with your moons and
your paths," said Agnes ; " I think you be-
wilder yourself too. Do look at things sen-
sibly — not through this distracting medium of
metaphor." Agnes spoke with half-disdainful
accents ; but his words, still more his manner,
had impressed her.
126 A DREAMER.
Philip did not speak at once. Presently he
took her hand. " Agnes, I could not do it. I
should feel as if I were selling myself. Let us
part, Agnes : now."
She was wavering ; a few moments' pause,
a few more earnest words, and she might have
been in his arms — mi^ht even have confessed
a deeper wrong than he suspected. But
Philip did not know it. He dreaded that
hesitation might return to himself if he pro-
longed the struggle. The farewell must be
now — at once.
'' Good-bye, Agnes. One last kiss, my
She turned from him ; he was hurrying her.
'* Not one, Agnes ? Can you bear it ? "
Ah, he had misunderstood her — had checked
her! A word's encouragement might have
saved her ; he gave it not.
" Let us part, Agnes. We could not walk
together after this."
Slowly she drew her ring from her finger
and turned to face him.
" Very well, Philip. I am very sorry. As
you say, we could not be comfortable together
again. Some day you will think of me less
harshly, I hope. There is my ring. Good-
Philip laid it on the mantelpiece. A poor
little ring it was, not costly, nor rare, nor w^on-
derful in any way; but oh, the pleasure he had
taken in buying it ! how his heart had danced
for joy, and the sun had shone, and the birds
had sung for him, that golden day not a year
aeo ! The siofht of that little rinof was too
much for Philip. His eyes filled with tears,
and for a few moments he gazed silently at
But she stood calm and cold, looking at
him like a thing apart.
" It must be so, Agnes ? You will not do
this little thing for me ? Yet my love would
have been worth keeping, Agnes!" He
stretched out his arms to her, to clasp her
once more to his heart ; but she remained
standing silent and motionless.
He pressed his lips on hers for the last time,
and left her in the darkened room, into the far
128 A DREAMER.
end of which still streamed the flood of silver
Agnes never saw visions ; and when the
door had closed, memory did not restore her
lost lover still standing in that pure, pale
beam, his face not clearly illuminated, but
marked out in strong light and deep shadow.
She did not think much of Philip when he
had left her ; she thought of herself. She
had chosen deliberate, conscious wrong, and
she knew it. She was going to try a life be-
gun thus. The first thing must be to remove
anything that might lead to the discovery of
the wrong she had done. Agnes opened her
writing-table; in it lay the paper she had
written for her dying father. She raised her
eyes to a large old-fashioned bureau at the
end of the room, not much used since her
grandfather's day. Was there anything tell-
tale in that ? Agnes considered, thinking only
of herself, however. No, there was nothing
to inculpate her, except this paper in her own
handwriting. She cast it on the hearth, and
stooping, tried to blow sufficient life into the
PRELIMINARY. 1 29
expiring embers to consume It. It was not
very easily done ; and absorbed In her task,
Agnes did not hear the door open softly and
admit some one, who advanced quietly, not
noticing her. It was Philip ; he had forgotten
the little ring, and had returned for It. The
one candle high up on the carved mantel-
shelf gave so little light that he did not see
the stooping black-robed figure by the hearth,
till Agnes raised a scared white face to con-
front him. Embarrassed and startled him-
self, Philip stared at her, forgetting for the
moment his own errand.
Agnes started to her feet, having first nerv-
ously snatched up the paper which was smok-
ing but not yet burning; she crushed It in her
hand, and spoke in a trembling, agitated voice :
" What Is It ? What are you doing ? You
have terrified me ! "
Philip said nothing. He collected himself
sufficiently to step forward and find the ring ;
then he retired as quietly as he had come, and
without turning his head to look at her again.
Agnes trembled like a leaf, and only after
VOL. I. I
130 A DREAMER.
long reasoning was she convinced that PhlHp
could have seen nothing of the object she
was taking such pains to destroy. She locked
the door to complete her work of destruction ;
and she listened long with the key in her hand
before she had courage to venture up the
broad staircase to her own room.
While Philip and Agnes were talking to-
gether In the library at Salehurst, Ralph Lind-
say sat alone In a bachelor room of the great
city, employing himself with his pencil. Ralph
Lindsay was a bit of an artist, and his pencil
had been busy of late. It was his favourite
distraction when his thoughts became too
Ralph had grown pale and thin, he spoke
little, and was much alone In his leisure time.
There were a few people who thought he was
going Into consumption ; but others, who knew
of what fibre his simple, loving heart was made,
and who knew also the history of one more
to him than a brother, lately sunk Into an
early and a dishonoured grave, perceived that
It was no bodily ailment which had changed
the young man so grievously. All agreed that
it was well he was going away — for Ralph's
employers were sending him to the Hague
for a few years, on business connected with the
firm. He was a most trustworthy, sensible
fellow, just the man for the post, which was
one of some responsibility. Ralph did not
care about going much ; one place seemed as
dreary to him as another just then.
He began to draw to-night with no par-
ticular motive ; a face, of course — a portrait,
also of course, but it was not designedly a
portrait. The features grew into a face he
knew, without his intending it — a young, not
unhandsome face, with dark eyes, and some-
thing of a scowl on the finely-chiselled, sensi-
tive lips. The scowl was exaggerated, so were
the frown and the contemptuous attitude of
the hand. It was not exactly true to life, but
it was like Philip Temple. There was some-
thing in the face that fascinated Ralph. After
he had recognised the portrait, he went on
elaborating it with a care that annoyed him-
self Suddenly he said " Pshaw ! " contempt-
132 A DREAMER.
uously, and crumpling up the picture, flung
it into the grate. He did not want to draw
Philip Temple. It was some minutes before
the pencil moved again. Ralph drew fiercely,
with intention now. It was the picture of a
scene he knew by heart.
What desolate, narrow room is that ? What
is the figure in uniform guarding the door ?
On a truckle-bed lies a slender boyish form.
Over it stoops a friend, very slightly sketched
in the pencil-drawing. The sufierer is half-
sitting : his lips are parted ; he is speaking.
It is a young, beautiful face, but wild and hag-
gard : the finger of death is on it. He is say-
ing something that makes the gloomy man
in uniform shudder as he listens. Ralph did
not write the words at the bottom of the
picture, but they had been ringing through his
ears ever since he had knelt by Henry's death-
bed in the prison-cell. He stopped drawing,
and looked at the picture. It was quickly but
cleverly done ; it was effective and terrible.
*' I must resist this," said Ralph, rising. ** I
must not attach too much Importance to my
poor Henry's wild words. I shall always dis-
like that man, but I must allow no unreasoning
prejudice to infect me with morbid hatred.
Let me draw something pleasanter."
Essays at little landscapes — tarn or moor,
mountain or river, such as Ralph remembered
to have seen in Scotland. He and Henry had
made a walking tour there together — long ago,
when they had been boys. The landscapes
did not grow to-night under Ralph's feverish
touch. He abandoned them, and rising, paced
the room several times, his hands behind his
back and his head bent. But presently his
features relaxed. A smile played round his
lips. He sat down, and resuming his pencil,
began another face — a face he had seen to-
day for the first time. It was a pretty little
picture. When finished, Ralph contemplated
it with satisfaction. A childish figure, with
clasped hands, and a little head thrown back-
ward and surrounded by loose curling hair ; a
plaintive, upturned face, with questioning eyes
and pretty parted lips. Ralph spent a long
time over the picture, lingering fondly on the
134 A DREAMER.
flowing hair and rounded shoulders peeping
above a white pinafore. He had not had such
a graceful little model before : he meant to
keep this picture.
Ralph was fond of fairy tales, though he
never wrote one in his life. An old favourite,
by Hans Andersen, sprang up in his mind as
he looked at his picture. It wanted a name ;
that of the fairy heroine would do — *'The
Little Syren : " a dear little heroine she was ;
and doubtless, thought Ralph, she had deep,
pathetic eyes, like the sweet child in the
" Father," said Philip, sitting one evening
with Mr Temple in his lodgings in Blooms-
bury, " when you were a small boy, did you
ever make a house with cards ? I will show
you how I mean," taking up a pack that lay
on the side-table, and which, by the way, was
a secret eyesore to the clergyman. " I used
to do it once. First two leaning together,
so : the table is not slippery ; it is easily done.
Then two covering the gap at the sides ; two
at the ends ; two flat ones for a roof, — that is
one storey ; on it another, and another, and
another." There was at times an earnestness
in Philip's manner when engaged in the most
trivial occupation that compelled attention.
Mr Temple leaned forward, watching him and
quite excited about the card-house. Philip's
136 A DREAMER.
words fell from his lips with a melancholy
incisiveness that showed he had a meaning.
" There are four storeys ; it is a pretty little
pagoda, and stands well on Mrs Brown's red
table-cloth. I have not played this game since
I was a little chap, but I can do it quite well.
I mean I have not played at it with cards since
then. One can build with other things too.
If you give it the lightest touch, if you blow at
it even, what happens ? See ! " Philip drew
back as the heap of cards fell together on the
A pause. Philip gathered the cards to-
gether and put them away. Then he drew
a chair by the window, and leaning back in it,
gazed out on the evening sky where it gleamed
over the roofs of the opposite houses. His
eyes filled with tears, but he spoke quietly —
'' I heard of a man who built a house once
— on the sand it was. It lasted till a storm
came ; then it fell, and great was the fall of it.
What do you suppose was the result for the
man when his house fell ? "
" My boy ! " The voice and look touched
Mr Temple's kind heart.
" I think he was probably hurt," pursued
Philip. '' He did not expect his house to fall,
of course. He was most likely in it, and it
crushed him. But he was not killed. It takes
a great deal to kill a man. He scrambled out
somehow, and his life went on as before. I
daresay he built another house, and looked at
the foundations better the second time.''
" My dear Phil, tell me what has happened,"
said Mr Temple. He supposed that, as usual,
the boy's notions had landed him in some
scrape. The father was not very anxious yet,
for Philip evidently took the matter greatly to
heart, and Mr Temple considered that he gen-
erally showed most feeling over matters of
comparatively little importance.
*' Could you find me some work, do you
think ? " said Philip, presently. " I don't care
what it is, much."
- Work, Philip ? "
" Yes. I don't feel inclined to proceed with
the Sanskrit at present. I will do any work
138 A DREAMER.
you like. Only don't make a quack of me,"
he added hastily, with a sudden fear that his
assertion might be interpreted too literally.
" All right, Phil. We'll look out for some-
thing. What does Agnes say about all this ? "
" Agnes ? " Philip's eyes seemed to be gaz-
ing farther away than ever, as if they pierced
the serene evening clouds. He raised his hand
unconsciously and pointed.
" What are you looking at ? " said Mr
Temple, following the direction of his finger,
and perceiving nothing ; " what do you see ? "
" A forest," said Philip, turning and fix-
ing his eyes on his father, who involuntarily
started — this strange son of his was so unac-
countable and irrelevant in his speech — '' and
a man passing through it. The forest is dark
and bewildering, and the man has lost his way.
He is pursued by strange creatures and wild
voices, and eyes staring at him." Philip shud-
dered himself, and paused for a moment ; then
he continued, smiling — '' That is the conven-
tional beginning, is it not ? Can you guess
what follows ? The man is going on, following
a rising path with a stream flowing beside and
beneath it. The path leads westward. If he
walks on, he thinks the sun will overtake him.
There is a beautiful form waiting for him, with
jewels flashing on her brow. She takes his
hand to lead him. They go on together. He
is following the same westward path, but he
thinks it is she who is guiding him. The path
is smooth now, edged with moss and flowers.
Sometimes she drops a jewel, and he picks it
up and treasures it. They are in the sunlight.
It has overtaken him. He feels the light and
the warmth, and calls on her to rejoice. But
the sun has been too much for her : she is
gone — melted — lost. He is alone. He has
only the jewels left which she did not value.
Yet he feels the sunshine. He cannot leave it.
He is in the right path. He can't go back to
find her, and she is vanished. She can't come
to him — in the sunlight. Have you under-
stood the parable, father ? "
" No, my boy." Mr Temple tried to be
patient and indulgent, but he thought his son
140 A DREAMER.
*' You are not a good hand at a parable,
father, except the Gospel ones. But perhaps
I expect too much from you. One can't open
a lock without a key. I am apt to forget
that. I have a way of fumbling at a lock, and
poking it, and damaging it with knives and
gimlets, all to no purpose. Your way is best,
father, and you are not fond of fairy tales.
Unless you are, you will never care to use the
key, even if I give it to you."
'' My dear Phil, don't trifle with yourself
like this. Tell me what is the matter."
" Nothing ; except that I have knocked
down my card-house. The storm has over-
whelmed my castle on the sand. My forest
vision has melted under the strong rays of
the sun. You must let me be your boy a
little longer, my father. Agnes and I have
" Parted ? What do you mean ? You have
not quarrelled ? "
'* We have broken off our engagement."
"What is the meaning of this?" said Mr
Temple, almost sharply.
Philip had become cold and indifferent in
" We disagreed."
" You have annoyed her in some way."
" What have you been doing ? " Philip
shrugged his shoulders. *' How have you
displeased her ? "
'' I told you : we disagreed."
" About what ? "
" It is not a point that concerns other
people. I do not care to discuss it."
*' I shall write to Agnes and ask her," said
Mr Temple, hastily.
*' I must request you to do nothing of the
" I meant" (again hastily, but apologeti-
cally) '' I might smooth matters."
" I do not wish them smoothed. Don't you
know what a wise book says : ' Can two walk
together except they be agreed ? ' "
" My dear Philip, you could not expect
any one in his senses always to agree with
142 A DREAMER.
" That Is precisely what Agnes said. So
A few minutes' silence. Mr Temple was
much pained and mortified.
" I cannot believe," he said, at length, '' that
Agnes would take offence about a trifle. You
must have displeased her seriously. I hope,
Philip, you have not forgotten "
" I suppose," interrupted Philip, bitterly, *' it
is possible that / may have seen cause for
offence — that It may have been 7ny wish that
we should part. I am not saying it Is so ; but
I beg you will bear the possibility in mind
before you make sweeping accusations against
any one. I don't want to talk about it. Noth-
ing can alfer matters now. Henceforth Agnes
Mortimer and I are friends only."
" Well, I am sorry for your disappoint-
ment," said Mr Temple, a little grudgingly.
'' I shall survive, I daresay/' said Philip,
crossly ; '' that's enough about it."
Poor Mr Temple was more puzzled by his
son than ever. But he tried to hope that it
was all for the best, — that it would be a lesson
to Philip. Perhaps, after all, he might make a
wiser marriage later. He was not fit to marry
an heiress ; all her money would be squan-
dered in his projects. It was just as well for
him that he would have to enter a profession,
and face realities for a while.
Unfortunately, however, Philip refused to
work at anything but projects. He estab-
lished himself in a diminutive house in Ken-
sington, where he was attended by an old
man and woman imported from Whitechapel.
Here he studied Sanskrit, and smoked and
dreamed and theorised to his heart's content.
He collected a circle of friends around him,
to whom he elaborated his favourite schemes,
and who thought a great deal more of him
than he probably deserved. Some of his pro-
jects arrived at a certain amount of reality ;
amongst others, one for building a model
street in Whitechapel. He formed a com-
pany for this purpose, and intended not only
to reform the social condition of that part of
London in which the street was to be situated,
but to make the fortunes of the shareholders.
144 A DREAMER.
The scheme failed, of course, and PhiHp lost
a good deal of money in consequence ; but he
never lost his own faith in It. '' Of course, if
people had no patience, schemes must fail.
It would be seen some day that his plans
were sensible enough in reality.'^ Notwith-
standing this and many other failures, the
attention of certain ardent public men was
called to the visionary young theorist, who
talked so persuasively, and who had so much
good purpose in his projects. He had written
two or three pamphlets expounding his views ;
his fame was spread abroad by his friends ;
he had dabbled in several social matters of
interest and importance. Though often in
these cases he had done nothing that could be
termed in the least successful, he had always
brought a new light to bear on the question at
issue, that had charmed the well-meaning but
uninventive people, who were working away,
diligently but not dexterously, in a time-worn
groove. In a few years Philip found himself
a person of some importance, who received
letters asking for suggestions, from members
of Parliament ; who was applied to for advice
by the managers of societies ; whose commu-
nications to the editor were always inserted
in the * Times ; ' and who, above all, had
established friendly relations with his poorer
brethren in Whitechapel and Stepney. On
the whole, he was well content, and his father
and mother began to hope he might be a
useful man some day.
He had put matrimony out of his head for
the present ; but the wound occasioned by his
rupture with Agnes healed much sooner than
he had expected. He discovered that he had
been in love with a chimera ; and then he
laughed at himself. When a man begins to
laugh, he is on the high-road to recovery; and,
consequently, Philip recovered straightway.
Circumstances also contributed to this salutary
result. Before a year was over, Agnes mar-
ried somebody else. The fortunate somebody
was the prosperous, the popular, the rising
young man, Oliver Temple.
VOL. I. K
FOR HENRY'S SAKE
Nearly four years later: a sunny day towards
the end of March ; five o'clock ; several per-
sons sitting on the benches in Kensington
Gardens, and shading their eyes from the
level rays of sunlight ; — a man crossing the
grass at a rapid pace, carrying a bag of
sugar-plums in his hand.
The man was Philip Temple ; the sugar-
plums were for a little girl of about three
years old, Lily by name — Agnes and Oliver's
only child. Philip had a supper-party to-night
in his little house at Kensington. Agnes and
Oliver were among the guests ; Agnes had
undertaken the duty of hostess.
On one occasion when Philip had given a
similar entertainment, his mother had been
with him to sit at the head of his supper-
150 A DREAMER.
table. Mrs Temple did not enjoy herself:
the whist - table alarmed her ; the prawns
came at the wrong part of the meal, and
the home - made brown bread was out of
place ; Mr Donnlngton, the painter, smelt of
tobacco ; Mr Lowestoft's comic songs were
profane ; nobody cared for Sunday-schools or
temperance meetings ; and she knew nothing
of the last new novel, or the new tragic actor ;
she had not been to the Handel festival ; she
had not even heard the sensational Ritualistic
Revivalist, Canon Girton of St Mark's, Wheat-
ley Square. Mrs Temple thought there was
too much noise ; that Philip talked a great
deal of nonsense ; and that his friends were
very queer - looking people. There was an
old, threadbare coated, white - haired, blue-
eyed foreigner, with a blind daughter, who
played on the zither, and could speak no
language Intelligible to Mrs Temple; there
was a yellow man with limp hair, and long
eyes turned up at the corners, with a pictur-
esque, shy little wife dressed in numberless
scarves of green and crimson and yellow.
"FOR HENRYS SAKE. 151
Ti-foo-chum-chun and his wife seemed quite
intimate with Philip ; but Mrs Temple, who
only thought of the heathen as subjects for
missionaries, did not know how to conduct
herself in such queer company, and was only
too thankful when the evening was over.
Philip laughed at her, and chose Agnes for
his hostess next time. She liked everything
and everybody, and was always ready to do
what Philip wanted.
" Phil is a bore," said Oliver, " and thinks
too much of himself, and the men one meets
are snobs." But he went nevertheless when
Philip sent him an invitation. Agnes was
determined to go ; and Agnes would not go
without her husband. Oliver was growing
rather fat and Indolent, and very aristocratic.
People said his wife ruled him, and nobody
took the trouble to correct the assertion.
People also said that Philip was still a
slave of that handsome Mrs Temple - Mor-
timer. And again nobody took the trouble
to contradict the assertion. '' People " were
wrong In both instances. Agnes had not
152 A DREAMER.
the slightest power, except in trifles, over
her husband or his cousin, who in old times
had been her lover. She and Oliver ''got
on" very well together, to all appearances.
They may have been somewhat cold in
manner, but then they were so exceed-
ingly dignified. Neither of them had ever
pretended to be exactly in love ; the motive
of their marriage had not been deeper than
mutual admiration. And Agnes and Philip
were intimate though somewhat superficial
friends : he was not in the least jealous of
Oliver ; he was welcome at his house when-
ever he chose to present himself; he was
fond of Lily ; and he liked talking to Agnes
on any light, unimportant, indifferent matter.
He had not forgotten the past, but he hard-
ly ever thought of it ; he had ceased to
blame Agnes severely since her conduct had
ceased to be an affair of his ; he did not
trust or esteem her highly, but he liked
her, and their easy cousinly relationship was
All this is a digression ; let us return to
"FOR HENRYS SAKE. 153
the tall, dark, somewhat grave young man
whom we left hurrying across Kensington
Gardens with the bag of sugar-plums in his
hand (he had consumed two burnt almonds
already : few persons under thirty could resist
so very favourable a chance).
Philip's attention was arrested by a person
sittinof alone beneath an elm - tree — a little
childish person, quaintly dressed in grey, and
sternly defying fashion, then outrageous in
crinoline; she had a pale, rather sad little
face, and sat looking thoughtfully on the
sunny trees and early flowers. It flashed
across Philip's mind that he had somewhere
seen this girl before, and he half hesitated
as he passed her, and looked at her with a
momentary glance of curiosity. The girl
raised her eyes, suddenly meeting his glance,
and embarrassing Philip, who felt himself
caught in a rudeness. But the eirl started
to her feet, holding out her hand eagerly, and
advancing towards him. Only for a few steps,
however ; Philip did not recognise her, and
was startled and unresponsive. Then her
154 A DREAMER.
courage faded : she checked herself; the flush
died from her cheek and the sparkle from her
eye. She drew back, saying quiveringly —
'' I beg your pardon. I shouldn't have done
that. I thought I knew you — that was all."
Philip's chivalry was aroused, for the child
was evidently ashamed of her impulsiveness.
** Don't be sorry," he said, smiling ; *' we
are old friends, are we not ? My name is
Temple," he went on ; " Philip Temple."
'' Yes, that is what I thought," said the girl :
" thank you ; please forgive me ; " and still she
was turning away, but with so much contrition
that Philip detained her.
" Why do you go ? We are old friends, and
may be allowed to speak to each other for a
" Yes, but you don't know who I am. You
have forgotten Griselda."
"Ah!" said Philip, the name recalling a
long-unopened page in his history.
'' Please let me go," said Griselda Mortimer.
** No, no," answered Philip, who had taken
her hand ; *' I remember you very well now.
" FOR HENRY S SAKE. ;I55
It was stupid of me to forget. You are not
" Of course I am changed," said she, gravely.
" I was only a little girl then."
" You are not much more now," said Philip,
who thought she was about fifteen. " Do you
know the gardener s lodge down there ? The
tulips and hyacinths are splendid. Let us go
and see them." They walked along silently, the
tears running unheeded down the child's face.
" Why do you cry ? " Philip ventured pres-
ently, when they had isolated themselves by
the little garden.
" I'm not crying," said Griselda, with sudden
anger, making her reply a true one, for the
flash of her eyes seemed to burn up the tears,
and she looked at him defiantly with perfect
calm. *' I am going home now," she said pres-
ently, Philip having made no second remark
after this flat contradiction.
" Not yet," said he. *' Are you not going
to speak to me ? Why did you run out at me
then ? "
'' Of course I wish I had not done it," she
156 A DREAMER.
cried ; " I hadn't time to think. I can't think
in a hurry, and yet one has to act in a hurry ;
that is why I am always making mistakes. I
didn't want you, as it turned out ; but I might
have wanted you, and while I was thinking
if I did or not, you would have been gone.
Good-bye, Mr Temple."
" You cannot walk home by youself/' said
Philip. " You must let me go with you."
- What for ? "
" To take care of you," said Philip, lecturing
her, as one naturally lectures a child. " You
should not come to such a public place by
" Why not, please ? "
'' Well, I don't know. Ladies don't gener-
ally," said Philip.
Griselda paused ; then she said gravely, " I
am not a lady then, I suppose. I am only a
" Oh, for that matter, a housemaid may be
a lady, of course," said Philip.
" That is not what you began about," said
Griselda. Philip was reduced to silence.
"FOR henry's sake." 157
" Why shouldn't I take care of myself ? " said
the girl, who was always shaken by disap-
" You are too little to go about alone," said
Philip, shrugging his shoulders, ''and too
It was not a polite speech, but he told him-
self it was for her good. Griselda's eyes
flashed. She turned her head away indig-
nantly and would have left him. Philip was
vexed with her — she with him.
" As we have met," he said, " I should like
to have heard a little about you — where you
are living, and what you are doing."
She turned round, and answered gravely,
" I live with papa, of course, and I go on
learning to sing. I am to begin at the Opera
when I am eighteen — that will be In less than
three months. I have nothing more to say.
Now will you please tell me the shortest way
to the Marble Arch." She spoke coldly, and
was evidently offended.
" May I not come to show 3^ou ? " said
Philip, more meekly now that he knew her
158 A DREAMER.
age, but more than ever convinced that she
ought to be protected. Griselda said nothing,
and he walked solemnly beside her, neither of
them speaking. She threaded her way with
great coolness between the thronging vehicles
in Oxford Street, as they crossed it near the
Marble Arch. They turned down Wigmore
Street, and crossed Cavendish Square. At
Maroraret Street she turned aofain to the left,
and presently stopped at the door of an un-
inviting house in a narrow street. Griselda
mounted the three little steps and held out
" Good-bye," she said, '* and thank you."
Her brown eyes looked soft and kindly now.
Philip was emboldened to say —
'* I live in London also. May I not come
to see you some day?"
'' Perhaps," said Griselda, doubtfully. '' I
mean, perhaps I will let you in. I don't
*' I will take my chance."
"In the morning is best," said Griselda;
'' but I don't know if I will let you in."
" FOR HENRY S SAKE. 159
He turned away thoughtfully, hailed a pass-
ing hansom, and drove home with his sugar-
That evening Philip told Agnes about
Griselda, and found she had not known of
her being in London. Agnes did not seem
particularly interested In her cousin. On the
following morning, however, Mrs Temple-
Mortimer said to Oliver —
" I hear Griselda is living in London. I
Intend to ask her here."
*' Why, my dear ? "
"It Is very important that we should be
kind to her."
" I suppose you think we owe her some-
thing," said Oliver, who had extracted his
wife's secret from her own lips six months
after their marriage.
" I choose to be civil," said Agnes.
" One doesn't want actresses in and out of
** She Is quite a lady," said Agnes.
" A lady of a confoundedly vehement
l6o A DREAMER.
*' It suits her style ; there is nothing unlady-
like in her manner or temper."
" You can't call your precious uncle a
*' I said nothing about inviting him."
'' You had better not invite him. I hate
*' I daresay Griselda is more like other
people now," said Agnes ; " and as to her
singing, it is an advantage. We must keep
up our character for good music."
'' Oh, if you make a singing girl of her, it is
a different thinor. You need not hawk her
about as a relation. But she'll never be much
of a singer.''
" I think she will. I consider her voice
*' She's beginning too young to be any
good, and she hasn't the nerve and the
brass for it."
*' You seem to know a great deal about her."
" I heard her sing at a rehearsal the other
*' Why didn't you tell me ? " said Agnes,
''FOR HENRYS SAKE." l6l
annoyed. " You are hard to please, Oliver.
Pray, is brass an attraction ? "
*' A person ought to be one thing or another,
not a sham lady or a bad singer."
" She is quite a lady," repeated Agnes. " It
is only her position that is against her. Her
position is not her fault."
'' Whose fault is it ? Ours ? "
Agnes did not answer this question. " You
can't deny that she is very pretty, Oliver," she
'' For that style. I don't admire her. I
hke a tall, handsome woman, like you, my
It was a rudely-presented compliment, and
Agnes left him — knowing, however, that she
would be allowed her own way about Griselda.
Oliver let her do as she liked in trifles.
When Agnes Mortimer had married Oliver
Temple, she had had a definite plan for her
life in her own mind. She meant to become a
very good woman. It is true, she had begun
with a mistake, or a sin, if you prefer calling
it so ; but Agnes had no objection to whited
VOL. I. L
l62 A DREAMER.
sepulchres. If ghosts were to rise from them,
she could shut her eyes ; and doubtless the
Scripture was mistaken which condemned the
sewing of new cloth on an old garment. She
believed her husband to be a very estimable
man, not so crotchety as that poor dear Philip,
but as truthful and honourable as the ordinary
English gentleman — better than herself, Agnes
hoped In her heart. Then he found out her
secret, and Instead of testifying horror at It,
treated her conduct as a matter of course,
entering Into the plot with her, and only
making one stipulation, that she was to keep
absolute silence on the matter to every one.
Agnes had neither power nor Inclination to
resist, but from this moment she hated her
husband. A crisis In her life was over : she
had bound herself Irrevocably to her sin ; she
had entered Into a plot to sustain a fraud ; she
had an accomplice ; she had confessed herself
an Impostor. The consciousness of all this
was very bitter, for Agnes had not lost all
reverence for truth and justice. She felt her-
self changed. From henceforth she abandoned
" FOR henry's sake." 163
all idea of becoming a good woman — improve-
ment was impossible. The most now left to
her was to seem good to other people. And
from henceforth she no longer tried to love
and respect her husband. He was a liar and
an impostor too. She hated him for the thing
she almost hated in herself But she con-
tinued to be in appearance a dutiful and affec-
tionate wife. Mr and Mrs Temple-Mortimer
were universally liked and commended. If
they had a skeleton in their cupboard, its pres-
ence was unsuspected by their friends and
A FEW mornings afterwards, Philip made his
way again to the dingy house in the narrow
street where Griselda Mortimer lived. The
bell was answered by herself. She started on
seeing him, and drew back.
'' I thought it was the baker," she said,
colouring, and keeping her hand on the
" You know you told me to come in the
morning," explained Philip, apologetically.
" I know I did, but "
'' Never mind. Miss Mortimer," said Philip,
helping her ; *' I happened to be passing, and
having no umbrella, suffered such anxiety from
that black cloud, that I stopped to get an
opinion about it. Give me one quickly. Is
it going to rain ? "
'' Yes," answered Griselda ; *' a shower.
Come in, as you are afraid of the rain."
'' But I am not. I was only tortured by un-
certainty in my own mind. You have settled
the question for me. I am content."
" I should like to see you. Please come in."
Philip followed her up the stairs. " I am
afraid you are letting m^ intrude, Miss Mor-
timer," he said.
How pretty Griselda was in her print frock
like a housemaid's, tucked up at one side over
a crimson petticoat, and covered in front with
a white apron ! Her abundant hair was hidden
away as much as possible, giving her a demure
look that seemed the prettiest affectation. She
looked at him gravely.
" Why do you say Miss Mortimer to
"Are you not Miss Mortimer?" said Philip,
who could not divest himself of the idea that
she was a mere child. It seemed a pretty
affectation to call her Miss Mortimer, like her
" I suppose I am," said Griselda, sitting
l66 A DREAMER.
down composedly, but with an expression of
sadness stealingr over her face.
*' I had rather you said Griselda. So few
people call me by my own name, and I like it
best. It feels then as if I belonged to some
one and was a real person. When I am only
Miss Mortimer, I feel like a thing."
"Well, I will call you Griselda. I like it
Philip wondered if he were looking at her
too much. He turned his eyes to survey the
room. It was small and dark ; the furniture
was old and meagre, but there was a piano,
of course, and on the wall hung an oil-painting
— a fair copy of a celebrated picture. Philip
went over and looked at it.
" Your father painted this ? "
*' Yes ; he gave it to me. It is my favourite
picture in Florence."
" It is a good copy," said Philip, with much
candour ; " it is a pity your father does not
keep to this style, I think."
" You mean copying good pictures instead of
"FOR HENRY'S SAKE." 167
inventing bad ones ? I think that too, only it
applies to so many people."
" Curates, &c," said Philip, smiling.
*' But I know the feeling," said Griselda,
warmly, " that makes one love best what one
has made one's self. I have a great many beau-
tiful songs, but I love none of them so much
as the poor little tunes I invent myself"
" Oh, it is a g^rand thinor to invent ! " said
Philip; " I delight in it. I invented a machine
once. It wasn't a particularly good one, and
some other man had found it out long ago.
No matter, I invented it. Let me glory in it,
and — keep it to myself"
** When we love a thing very much, we fancy
other people must love it too," said Griselda.
" When I read a stupid book or sing an ugly
song, it makes me sad. I hear the wailing
of the disappointed writer who thought it so
"• Do you?" said Philip, leaning towards her;
"so do I. I have an intense sympathy with
stupid people, and ugly people, and slighted
people. They are almost always disappointed,
l68 A DREAMER.
or else they will be disappointed. Why, I
myself, Griselda, once fancied I was a genius,
and dally expected to develop Into the beauty
of an Apollo. I know something of disap-
She looked up sympathetically, surprising
Philip, who had spoken In jest. " I remem-
ber," said Griselda, "you were disappointed
" I have recovered from that," said Philip,
'' Why did not you marry Agnes ? '^ asked
Griselda, innocently. " I beg your pardon,"
she added presently, as Philip made no answer.
" I did not mean to ask anything rude. But I
have always felt so sorry about It. You used
to seem so happy. I think you were the first
really happy people I had seen, and I was
always thinking about you. It seemed a sort
of Ideal frame of mind that I had not met with
In real life before. I enjoyed it so much, and
yet It all came to nothing. You can't think
how I cried about you when I heard," she
" FOR henry's sake." 169
'' Did you, Griselda ? That was very good
of you. But I am afraid you were too sym-
pathetic. I got over it pretty soon."
" Did you ? I can't help being sorry. It is
fooHsh, perhaps ; but I can't help liking people
who are really " She hesitated.
*' Constant, Griselda ? But people make mis-
takes sometimes, and fall in love with the
wrong person. Then as they get wiser and
better they grow out of it, and it is a mercy if
they have not made an irretrievable mistake,
and bound themselves already, in what ought
to be bands of affection, to the wrong person."
" I see," said Griselda, very thoughtfully ;
" and as Agnes did not really care for you
— she married so soon after ' — it did not
matter ? "
" How do you mean 'matter'? If Agnes
had broken her heart for me, I should have
been very sorry ; but it could not have altered
" But surely the other person's feelings would
make a difference ? It is so terrible to make
people unhappy ! "
I/O A DREAMER.
*' In some cases It would make a difference,
"It would make a difference," she went on,
*' in mere cases of liking. One could not
break a person's heart merely to please one's
self. But if there was some question of right
and wrong, I suppose It would not make a
difference. Oh how dreadful It would be!"
she said, clasping her hands.
*' You have stated the case exactly right,"
said Philip, gravely. He liked her view of
*' That was what you had to do, then ? "
she said, softly.
*' Yes ; I suppose It was. But you see I
did not break any one's heart," he added,
" I am glad you think people can get over
disappointments of that sort," said Griselda.
*' Why ? A minute ago you were angry
with me for having done so." Griselda smiled.
'' Because you destroyed a little ideal I had
formed of your faithfulness. But now I was
thinkinof of somethino- else."
" FOR HENRY S SAKE. 171
" A penny for your thoughts, then. You
can refuse to give them if you Hke, as I did
not answer your inquisitive question."
'' Oh, please, I did not mean to be inquisi-
" I know you did not. But I am inquisitive
as to your thoughts."
*' It seems a queer thing to tell you, but
I don't know why I should not. It is only
there is some one who was foolish enough to
want me to marry him. I can't bear him to be
unhappy, and I should like to think that, as
he gets wiser and better, he will get over it."
Philip was amused by this simple reply.
'' I thought young ladies liked to keep their
admirers," he said. She coloured.
" Please do not talk to me so. I should
never like to make any one unhappy." There
was a moment's pause. Philip was interest-
ed in her. Suddenly she exclaimed, startling
him, '' I hate that talk about ' admirers.' It
is horrid. As if one wanted to be admired /"
" You frighten me ! I like to be admired
very much. But then / don't get much chance
172 A DREAMER.
of being admired." Philip was elaborately
pointing a pencil ; but he raised his eyes
to her pretty face and smiled as he spoke.
Griselda rose, her whole face flushed and her
'* Don't," she cried. Philip rose also, startled
and penitent, and trying to remember what he
had said to offend her.
" Forgive me," he said, apologetically ; *' I
was only jesting. What was it I said ? " he
added, amused at her consternation, and con-
scious of innocence.
Griselda sat down again, and said, very
gravely, *' If you had heard as much as I
have about being admired, and the advan-
tages of beauty — such advantages as I hear
of — you would not wish to be admired. You
would wish to be ugly, as I do sometimes."
Philip felt ashamed of his trifling frame
of mind. Her evident pain rebuked him.
*' There are real advantages in beauty too,
Griselda," he said, with some awkwardness.
" I know there are," she replied, with quiet
dignity. *' Ah ! if people — if you — would
" FOR henry's sake." 173
remind one of those — not of the sham ones !
There are real advantages in all beauty,
whether it is in nature or in art. I love my
art, though I cannot bear the way I have to
spend my time at it."
" I am afraid I don't exactly understand you."
'' I love music more than anything in the
world ; yet the thought of this life terrifies
me. Have you ever thought what it must
be to stand up and sing before a crowd of
people ? "
" You are nervous, Griselda : you will get
'' I am not talking of that. I shall never
get over the feeling I mean. It isn't that I
am afraid of singing badly ; it is the thought
of singing at all — in that way. I know very
well what I am talking about. I have sung
several times at concerts and in drawing-
rooms where there have been numbers of
people. It is horrible. It is like being
scorched. To stand up before a crowd of
persons and show oif, it makes my heart
stop beating ! "
174 A DREAMER.
She hid her face in her hands, partly
ashamed of her excitement, partly anxious to
hide the tears that had come with a sudden
rush. Philip was too much moved by her
distress to reply. He came a little nearer,
and would, as a tribute of respect, have
touched her hand, had it been at liberty ;
but it was pressed tightly against her brow.
Her little frame was shaken with sobs. Pres-
ently she stammered, crossly now —
'' I wish you would not make me cry. Why
do you, when you know I hate it ? "
*' Griselda, you poor child ! tell me, is there
nothing I can do for you ? "
She looked up through her tears. " Yes,
there is something. I will tell you. The
first night will be the worst ; but if my friends
will come and listen, it will not be quite so
bad. Will you come ? If I know I have
some friends watching me, it will help me.
I shall feel more like a person — less like a
thing, a toy. Papa will come. I have one very
great friend who will come ; and Agnes, my
cousin, she w411 be there, perhaps. Will you
" FOR henry's sake." 175
remember ? because you are my old friend.
I may call you that, mayn't I ? " she added,
" I will come, Griselda, my old friend," said
Just then the door opened, and a little
servant came in with a query about " Master's
dinner." She was a London girl, probably
captured in Clerkenwell. Her face was sal-
low, her back round, and her dress dirty ;
but her hair, or rather her frizzettes, was elab-
orately arranged in the height of last year's
*' That is Elizabeth," explained Griselda, as
the door closed; and seeing a smile on Philip's
lips, the cause of which she mistook, she add-
ed, angrily, " Why do you laugh at Elizabeth ?
She is a very good girl, and works so hard.
I wonder if you are ever half so tired when
you go to bed as she is ? "
Then Griselda sent Philip away, but not
before he had said, '' I. may come again,
Griselda, may I not ? "
*' Oh, please do!" she cried; "I have so
176 A DREAMER.
few friends. I have been so glad to see
you again. ^^
Philip walked back to Kensington, saying
to himself that she was a little tangled mass of
contradictions, and that she had a sweet little
Her " Oh, please do ! " had been so warm,
that Philip ventured to repeat his visit before
very many days had passed.
This time he found '' her very great friend "
with her. He and Philip recognised each
" ?Iallo, Lindsay ! "
'' How do you do, Temple ? ''
It was about five o'clock, and Griselda in-
sisted on making some tea for her visitors.
She flashed in and out of the room, bringing
the cups herself, boiling the kettle, and pro-
ducing some radishes and mustard and cress.
It was a merry little meal. Griselda was in
high spirits, and she and Ralph combined to
make Philip welcome and amused.
Griselda and Ralph were great friends.
They called each other by their Christian
" FOR HEN.RY S SAKE." 177
names, and appeared to have all sorts of
private little jokes and interests. Ralph
followed her about with his eyes, full of un-
concealed interest and admiration. Griselda
apparently tyrannised somewhat over him, but
he seemed no unwilling slave. Occasionally,
when her eyes fell on him, a look of tender
compunction stole over her face, ^s if she
thought she were teasing him, and felt sorry
for it. Philip was a little perplexed by the
relationship between them.
After tea, she sat down to the piano, and
sang as often as they asked and whatever they
liked. Philip, listening to her, felt himself car-
ried back to the enchanted land whither she
had once wafted him in her childhood. The
promise of her early singing had been ful-
filled : its purity and simplicity remained ; but
her eighteen years had given to her voice a
strength and richness only to be guessed at
when Philip had heard her last. Evidently
singing was a delight to her ; her cheek
glowed and her eyes shone with the rapture
of a St Cecilia.
VOL. I. M
A MONTH passed. Much may happen In a
month ; and much had happened in this par-
Agnes had sought her little cousin, and
patronised her affectionately. Oliver admitted
that she had Improved in appearance. Philip
saw her frequently. And, what was more
Important than all this, Ralph Lindsay and
Philip had struck up a friendship.
I have said before that Philip had always
fascinated Ralph, and the prejudice the latter
had entertained against him, though strong,
had been rather forced. During the four
years that had passed since Ralph had gone
to Holland, his history had been simple, and
on the whole happy. Four such years tend
to soften prejudices, and allow green grass to
grow upon new-made graves. When Ralph
met Philip again at Griselda's little tea-table,
the past flashed before his mind, and he told
himself that it was this man who had ruined
and betrayed poor Henry ; but he told him-
self also that explanation and repentance were
possible for all that, and he determined to
give Temple the benefit of the possibility.
A month passed, and I suppose Philip gave
Ralph the explanation, and convinced him of
the repentance. At any rate, Ralph Lindsay's
eyes fell on him now with entire confidence,
and even affection.
Ralph's was eminently a receptive nature.
He recognised and appreciated in others num-
berless qualities which in himself existed only
in the rudimentary stage. He never, perhaps,
originated anything ; but no one was quicker
to perceive the original and to delight in it.
Philip, on the other hand, was all imagination ;
he wanted some one on whom he could pour
the mass of bewildering, chaotic, uncontrol-
lable fancies that his own head was hardly
strong enough to contain. He needed some
l8o A DREAMER.
one to respond to his touch, as Griselda's piano
responded to the harmonies she poured into it.
The two natures, PhiHp's and Ralph's, feh
themselves complementary at once ; and when
barriers to frank intercourse had been mutu-
ally removed, confidence and intimacy were
established between them.
Ralph was continually in the little house in
Kensington, and often outstayed even young
Winthrop the rising poet, or Donnington the
melancholy painter, or the boy Lynton Roth-
bury, a half-mad young scapegrace, with a wild
gipsy nature and more than a touch of genius,
who worshipped Philip, and would have gone
through purgatory unflinchingly for a touch
of his somewhat careless hero's hand. Philip
was a little bored by some of these enthusiastic
disciples of his : they were rather disappoint-
ing on long intimacy, wonderfully like the rest
of the world in many ways, but wanting the
common-sense which Philip had once despised,
and for which he now began to pine. A great
many of them were excellent theorists and
very faulty practitioners ; and Philip, with his
"FOR henry's sake." i8i
craving for the Impossible, lost his temper in
turn with each of them. He secretly feared
that many of them were but quacks after all,
and he welcomed Ralph Lindsay, a sensible, ap-
preciative, ennobling sort of fellow, who looked
out upon the world through no coloured glass.
Ralph's story during the last four years can
be given in a few lines. He did his work well
and prospered, winning the confidence of his
employers. He never lost sight of Griselda
after the day on which he had drawn her por-
trait from memory ; he watched over her with
a tender brotherly interest, " for Henry's sake."
Not always and only for Henry's sake, how-
ever. As Griselda grew older, a new Idea
entered his mind, which she unconsciously
encouraged in the simple, confiding, sisterly
love she sfave him. As a child she had been
" his little sister:" when she was seventeen she
still named him '' her brother Ralph."
One day Griselda was lamenting over her
hard fate in having to enter a life she dreaded
" Don't do It, Griselda," said Ralph, with
1 82 A DREAMER.
beating heart. *' I will save you from it. Come
to me. Be my little wife."
Griselda flung him from her ; then burst
Into tears, and cried all night for him.
*' Oh, Ralph, what did you say such a thing
for ? I couldn't do it. I couldn't marry you.
I don't want to marry any one. Why do you
make me hurt you like this ? We were so
happy. You have spoiled everything now.
You have robbed me of my friend. It will
never be the same again."
The words sound selfish, but not so did the
tone In which they were uttered. Griselda
was thinking of him, not of herself.
Presently Ralph raised a disappointed face,
trying to be cheerful.
*' Never mind, Griselda. Don't be unhappy
about me. I ought not to have asked you.
You must forget all about it, and never think
of it again. We will be brother and sister
still, and as happy as we used to be. Then
it will be all right."
'' No, it won't be the same," said Griselda.
'' Could you forget ? "
" FOR henry's sake." 183
" Oh yes, I'll try to forget. You will forget.
We will never say a word about it again, my
little sister, and we shall be friends for the rest
of our lives."
And so the intimacy between them, w^hich
Philip found existing when he entered into
their friendship, was a tolerably successful
copy of the frank, unconscious intimacy which
had been before this unlucky proposal had
frightened Griselda and disappointed Ralph.
One evening Ralph and Philip were sitting
alone over some coffee in Philip's little room
in Kensington. The windows were open,
and there was no light from lamp or candle.
Philip leaned back in a low chair, his hands
behind his head, and his eyes far away on
the moon - illumined clouds. He was astride
a hobby, of course.
" I suspect we know very little about ani-
mals. Of course my dog here" (the sleepy
Duke of Wellington responded to his master's
little kick by two slow thumps of his tail on
the floor) " may have no other business in life
than to stalk about the streets after me, but I
1 84 A DREAMER.
don't consider that proved. He may have
some entirely private business that I don't
appreciate because I don't perceive It. I see
that the poor dear fellow has very little in-
tellect of my sort ; but how do I know he
has no other of his own particular sort, which,
again, I don't appreciate because I don't per-
ceive It ? There Is no common medium be-
tween us to enable me to perceive It, just
as one can't hear In a vacuum. Imagine a
man who not only was blind and deaf, but
who had no conception that there were such
facts as seeing and hearing, — would he not
fall to appreciate, because he failed to per-
ceive, lots of people's businesses in life ? I
think some theory of that kind is necessary
to account for the prodigality of animal life
upon the globe — the countless varieties of It.
You say all these beasts are merely Inhabit-
ants for the world ? I hope I have a higher
mission In life than to inhabit the world only.
Then why not earwigs also ? I suspect we
see some traces of intellects of a different
order amone such creatures as bees and ants.
" FOR henry's sake/' 185
When I talk of intellects of a different order,
I don't exactly express what I mean. I mean
something replacing Intellect, equal or Inferior
or superior, as It may be, to It, but entirely
different. Something we have no means of
conceiving. We are so fond of supposing
the type we know to be the only one, and
that other organisms differ from It In degree,
not In kind."
'' I don't see that your hypothesis commends
itself to one naturally," said Ralph.
*' But I think It does. Look, you start with
the assumption — let everything be the same
unless we can prove It to be different. I start
— and I really think more reasonably — with
the opposite assumption, — let all things be
different unless we can prove them to be the
" Well, I quite agree with you that we
know very little about other creatures. We
misunderstand those of our own kind often
"It may very well be, at any rate in some
Instances, from our own deficiency in the par-
1 86 A DREAMER.
ticular branch of intellect that in them has led
to the particular speech or action we misunder-
stand. I have been writing something lately,
by the way, to reconcile this idea with the
new scientific doctrines. Shall I show it to
** By all means. Are you going to publish
*' Certainly not. It is bad enough to be
called a fool by my own circle ; but by the
universe at large ! Besides, it is mere guess-
work. Heaven preserve the world from an
inundation of guesses ! "
" Talking of understanding people," said
Ralph, after a pause — *' do you quite under-
stand Griselda's intense love for music and
intense aversion to singing in public ? " Philip
brought his eyes down from the stars to
Ralph's face. He answered presently —
'' Yes, thoroughly. She feels it a degrada-
tion of her singing."
" But it is not really so," said Ralph.
*' I am not quite sure. It ought not to be
so, of course."
'' FOR henry's sake." 187
" She will get over It, I hope," said Ralph.
Again a pause.
'' Yes, she will get over it, I suppose ; but
let me tell you something. If she gets over
it, her comfortableness will be increased, but
at the cost of spoiling a bit of her nature. To
cut off a feeling is as much mutilation as to
cut off an arm."
*' But I think feelings run mad sometimes,
when they Interfere with the performance of
" Hum ! I am not prepared to answer that
remark to-night. I feel a reply within me,
not yet come to the birth — a week hence, if
*' Some people feel too much," said Ralph,
pushing his advantage while he had it.
'' Oh no, f/iey dontl' cried Philip; " that Is not
it. Wait for a week. Talk of something else."
The old Whitechapel man had brought In
the lamp, and lighted up the cosy room and
the young master thereof, who looked almost
too much at his ease In the low chair with his
hands behind his head.
1 88 A DREAMER.
" Why don't you marry ? " asked Ralph,
'* I ! Marry ? Why should I upset my
life ? Do you suppose my wife would not
scent out the smell of tobacco in all the rooms,
and banish my best pipes ? "
" It's such a jolly little house," said Ralph,
" Very, for one person. I can't stow away
my father and mother without a positive revolu-
tion, and I don't know how many charwomen."
Ralph laughed. " One's parents take more
room than other people," he said, thinking
of his own father, the stout and ponderous
doctor, and his mother, a gentle dependent
woman, who always seemed to carry more
shawls and bandboxes than any one else.
" Have you never thought of marrying,
Temple ? "
'' You saw last night a lady I once thought
** That was a foolish Idea," said Ralph ; " I
fancy you would not fit the big house in May-
fair as well as this little den."
" FOR henry's sake/' 189
** True enough : that affair was an illusion
from which I waked up a wiser and a sadder
man, and — a bachelor."
" But, seriously, have you never thought of
marrying since ? "
"Seriously and candidly, often."
" What's wanting ? " The conversation was
becoming interesting. When thou and I, O
my friend, sit tete-a-tete at eventide, the con-
versation, to be really interesting, must concern
thee or me.
" The lady," answered Philip.
" Have you never seen her ?"
" I have seen several who would do for a
day ; a few who would do for a week ; none
who would do for a life."
'' I don't understand that way of falling in
love and out again," said Ralph, severely.
" Lindsay, my friend," answered Philip, '' you
are not so many-sided as I am : you don't see
all round a person as I do ; you don't violently
dislike and like the same person. Likewise,
you have the security against rash affections,
of a previous attachment."
IQO A DREAMER.
" How do you know I have a previous
attachment ? " asked Ralph, colouring.
'' It is tolerably obvious," said Philip ; *' I
perceived it at once. Forgive me If It was
meant to be a secret.''
Ralph did not reply directly. Then he
" Thanks for the hint. I hope every one
is not so sharp as you. But I will be more
circumspect in the future. It is meant to be
'' Having got so far, you may as well tell me
the history," said Philip.
*' There Is nothing to tell, except that it Is
'' Hopeless ! I think not."
'' Quite hopeless. I have promised never to
speak of it again."
*' Don't keep your promise. Look here,
Lindsay : she is a mere child ; she does not
know her own heart. I know how she speaks
of you behind your back. Ask her again In a
year or two, when she has seen a little more
of the world."
*' FOR henry's sake." IQI
" When she has seen more people, I shall
have still less chance," said Ralph.
" No : the people she is likely to see will
teach her your value."
" She will see many excellent people," said
*' None better or truer than yourself, my dear
fellow ; none whom she will like better. Mark
'' No ; she does not really care for me. I
have given it up. Child as she is, I should
gladly see her married to any worthy, honour-
able man who would save her from the sorrows
and difficulties before her."
'' Would you really ? " said Philip, smil-
*' I should," Ralph answered, earnestly. '' I
should be jealous, of course : that little pain
would be swallowed up in the pleasure of
seeing her happy and cared for. If I could
be sure of the man "
" You shall be the man yourself. I tell you,
I know what she thinks of you."
'' Are you really speaking in earnest ? " said
192 A DREAMER.
Ralph, with a mien of so much added cheer-
fulness that Philip drew back.
''I am ; but don't suppose I am infallible.
I may interpret the little lady all wrong —
but ask her again in a little while. That is
'' Ah, if I could believe you were right !
Are you sure you don't want her yourself? I
would give her to you, Temple."
" My dear fellow, if I had not been a similar
fool myself, and fancied that every person must
desire a certain young lady because I desired
her, I should laugh at you heartily. I tell you,
I will dance at your wedding with unmitigated
''My blessings upon you for the hope you
have suggested to me," cried Ralph; "and
you will marry yourself some day, I suppose.
Then again my good luck to you."
" I shall do no such thing. Think of a third
pair of eyes watching us now, and haunting my
steps all day, and a squalling nursery overhead."
" I can imagine no higher earthly blessed-
ness," said Ralph.
''FOR HENRYS SAKE." 193
" Nor I," returned Philip, gravely.
A month had done great things for these
two, had it not ? And now a word of explana-
tion. Perhaps you think Philip Temple was
uncharacteristically frank in this talk with one
who, after all, was a new and an untried friend.
If so, remember that it is very easy to be frank
and very hard to be perfectly sincere about
Philip had not fallen in love with Griselda,
then. He continually found his way to the
little house near Margaret Street, and when
there, he scarcely took his eyes off the young
girl for a moment, or thought of any one but
herself. When she sang to him he listened as
in a dream, losinor all sense of time in the
delight of the moment, and awaking to return-
ing consciousness with a start that was almost
painful. But he never thought of her but as
a pretty child who interested him more than
most children. He felt a protective sympathy
with her that soon grew^ into a species of ap-
propriation. She was a little waif tossed over
to his side by the east wind, and it was his
VOL. I. N
194 A DREAMER.
business to watch over her, guide her, help
her, till he could place her in some hands not
less secure than his own. She belonged to
him in some manner, — for Henry's sake, per-
haps, though that suggestion came later, when
Philip had begun to invent motives for his
He had something the same feeling about
Ralph : it explained the mysterious power
those grey eyes had had over him long ago,
when as yet he had had nothing to say to
Ralph. Philip felt himself a sort of guardian
angel for these two, and he was bent on
uniting: them. It was his first venture in
match-making, and he embarked with all the
zeal of adventure and novelty. The idea of
falling in love with little Griselda himself had
not occurred to him, till Ralph suggested it ;
then he laughed it to scorn and forthwith dis-
missed it from his mind. No caution was
necessary, because no danger was imminent.
He watched over his little friend with more as-
siduity than before, and with equal platonism.
Griselda on her part was not in danger
" FOR HENRY S SAKE. 195
either. Perhaps she was hardly old enough to
fall in love with any one. She was much taken
up with other things, her poor little soul being
entirely filled with dislike to the career on
which she was about to enter. She clung to
Ralph and she clung to Philip as to supporters
and friends. She had very few of either, poor
child ; and she had no happy, sheltering home,
whither she could run for protection. She had
none of the strong-mindedness that enables
some women to stand alone and face the world :
she must flee to somebody for protection, and
she naturally flew to the best person she could
find. If she found this person in a young
man who bore no obvious relationship to her,
she could not help it ; she knew too little of
the world to trouble herself about convention-
alities. Both Ralph and Philip did care enough
for conventionalities to talk very seldom of
their little friend. Ralph saw her every day,
Philip often twice in the week ; but they felt it
would be difficult to explain their friendship
to an outsider, and they each mentioned it as
little as possible. If a stranger such as Agnes
196 A DREAMER.
found them with her, PhiHp in particular
puzzled Griselda by becoming suddenly very
stiff and formal. Neither of the two young
men dreamt of even alluding to the little
student w^hen they wrote home, — Philip to the
quiet, busy parsonage, or Ralph to the big,
bustling doctor's house.
A very subtle relationship grew up between
Griselda and Philip. She regarded him as a
sort of prophet, and consulted him on all kinds
of ethical questions, rather to his embarrass-
ment, for he did not yet feel himself a perfectly
competent teacher. But he always tried to
answer her : she belonged to him ; he felt him-
self responsible for her.
If any one doubts that this state of affairs
between a young man and a girl is possible, I
beg that doubter to remember that Griselda
and Philip were not quite ordinary people.
She was mentally short-sighted, and only took
notice of the things that forced themselves
most irresistibly before her vehement imagina-
tion at the time being. And Philip lived in a
dream-world of his own, where a haze of ideas
'' FOR HENRY S SAKE. 197
and fancies prevented him from seeing a good
many things that presented themselves easily
enough to other people.
Ralph — a third person — a more ordinary
creature with a certain amount of common-
sense, did think it possible that the subtle
relationship between these two might expand
into a mutual affection. Ralph's love was ever
of the pure self-sacrificing type, and he would
not for all the world have put himself between
them, had he seen any symptom of the possi-
bility becoming a probability.
Occasionally a qualm came over Ralph's
trusting soul about Philip ; he always dismissed
it, and was the more loyal to his friend because
he had once in the time of his ignorance called
him a traitor. Philip of course had no notion
that he had ever, even ignorantly, been called
a traitor. To be upright and honourable and
trustworthy, and not the least bit of a quack,
seemed to him the most natural thing in the
world. Such virtues were too imperative to
be even thought about.
One day — it was about a fortnight after
198 A DREAMER.
Philip had renewed his acquaintance with
Griselda — he ventured to ask a question he had
been long purposing. There were voices on
the other side of the sliding doors that separ-
ated the little parlour from the adjoining room,
— not loud voices, such as Philip had occasion-
ally heard there, and which he had never ap-
peared to notice — but low and at intervals, as
if those of persons deeply engaged.
''Griselda," said the young man, **why do I
never see your father ? where is he ? " Griselda
did not reply. After a moment's thought she
rose, and slid back about two inches of the
door, so that Philip could look into the next
William Mortimer, pale and emaciated, was
lying on a couch. Another man was with him,
and between them stood a card-table on which
lay piles of gold. The artist's sunken eyes
were gleaming with suppressed excitement,
and the trembling fingers clutched the cards
with an eagerness painful to witness.
** That is papa," said Griselda, letting Philip
watch the gamblers for a few minutes, and then
" FOR HENRY S SAKE." 199
sliding back the door. She looked up In the
young man's face as if to read his thoughts.
Her own was white, and her lips were closed
tightly, as if under the pressure of a familiar
" Griselda," said Philip — he was tracing a
likeness in her to her dead brother — " I wish
you were away from him ! "
She turned away with a quietness that was
curiously pathetic, when contrasted with her
habitual vehemence. " That would not do at
all/' she said. '' He cannot work ; and I —
could I leave him ? "
" Cannot work, Griselda ? "
" Do you not see he is ill ? He has done
no painting for a long time." Philip pon-
dered. *' It is I who will have to work,"
said Griselda. ** I don't like it ; but we want
money, and I must get to work as soon as I
" And meantime, Griselda — forgive me —
what do you live on ? "
*' Thatl' she replied, pointing towards the
inner room, and studying Philip's face intent-
200 A DREAMER.
ly. Presently she burst forth, — '' Do you
think it is wicked ? I do not know how to
help it ; he will do it. I would rather never
spend more than we have of our very own ;
but there is almost none. Papa has lost his
money. I don't like that way of getting
money. I never play here ; only sometimes
in Germany I have gone to the tables when
I wanted money very badly, and it seemed
worse to do without it than to gamble for it ;
and I have always been very lucky. But I
do not like it ; and I persuaded him to come
to England, because I thought perhaps he
would stop. But no : he gets people to play
with him, and I cannot help it. I do not like
those men ; but they are not rude to me, and
I cannot say * You shall not come here ; ' they
would only laugh if I did, and if papa went
to gambling-houses it would be worse. I can-
not stop him ; and he says we want the money,
though I tell him we can live on so little. We
have no servant but Elizabeth, and we eat
very little, she and I. When we came to
London first we lived in lodgings, but that
" FOR HENRY S SAKE. 201
did not do. Respectable people would not
have us ; and how could I live except with
respectable people ? "
" You poor little thing," said Philip, taking
her two little cold hands in his, " I wish there
was some way of helping you, and taking you
away from this life ! Can't Ralph think of
any way?" he added, doubtfully. He knew
very little of that affair yet.
" Ralph ! " she said, flushing angrily, and
snatching her hands away. " What business
is that of yours ? "
Philip walked to the window and looked
out thoughtfully for a few minutes. He was
thinking of Agnes. Presently he said —
*' Griselda, if you had a claim on any one — a
money claim — would it be of any use to you ? "
'' I don't know what you mean. We have
no claim on any one ; and if we had, it would
make no difference. He would gamble just
the same. Sometimes I think it is better we
are poor. He cannot waste so much."
" What are you thinking of, Mr Temple ? '*
asked Griselda, a few minutes after.
202 A DREAMER.
He bent down towards her; '' Of Henry,"
The brown eyes looked up into his, respon-
sive and tender.
" Griselda, I taught Henry to gamble."
A flush rose on the childish face, and the
pain in her eyes deepened ; but she drew a
little nearer to him, and timidly laid her hand
** Promise me you never will, Griselda," said
Philip, *' nor " He did not finish the sen-
tence, but hurried away from her. Griselda
Never was a more doubting, anxious, troubled
little soul than Griselda's.
One day she had been singing to her two
friends. She jumped up hastily. *' Do you
think I improve ? " she cried.
" Improve ? Your singing is perfect, Grls-
elda," said Ralph ; and Philip, slowly de-
scending from the clouds, said, ** Exactly."
Griselda laughed. " You are foolish, both
of you," she said. " You have not the slight-
est notion of what perfection is."
" I daresay we don't see as far into it as
you do," said Philip.
" I have a little idea of it," said Griselda, —
" a little idea of how I want to sing. I shall
never attain to it."
** Do people ever attain ? "
204 A DREAMER.
" Yes ; some succeed in whatever they do."
" It depends on what you mean by success,"
'' But it is very sad to be always failing !"
'' Fancy what odious self-satisfied creatures
we should be if we did not ! " said Philip ;
" though, to be sure, if we really succeeded,
there is no reason why we should not be self-
satisfied. What makes a self-satisfied person
irritating is, that the action he is pleased with
might have been done better."
" I think it would be grand to do a thing
as well as ever it could be done ! " cried
" Yes ; if I did that once, I should shoot
myself," answered Philip.
'* Ah no ! If I succeeded I could go on
then ! But, after all, it does not make much
difference," continued Griselda, her enthusiasm
dying away. " When I succeed a little, or
fail, or get discouraged, it does not do me
harm, because I have to go on. I should not
want to give up because I failed. I should
onlv have to work the harder."
*' FOR henry's sake." 205
'' But the harder the work," said Ralph,
" the more it takes out of you. That is a
reason for keeping up your courage."
" And sometimes one has to work without
courage," said Griselda.
" Then it is all the more courao-eous to 2:0
on," said Philip. '' Don't you remember the
two soldiers in the battle ? ' You are fright-
ened, you fool,' said No. i. ' Horribly,' said
No. 2. ' If you were half as much frightened
as I, you would run away.'"
Griselda pondered. Then she said, " I
should have run away. Afterwards I should
have been sorry; but that is what I should
have done. I should have run away by mis-
take, as it were, because I should not have
had time to think that it was the very thing I
had intended not to do."
" You think too much, Griselda," said Ralph.
" You worry over yourself too much."
" Do you think Ralph is right ? " Griselda
asked Philip. " How can one help think-
ing ? "
" I suspect the most healthy people don't
206 A DREAMER.
think so much," he answered, backing up
Ralph as usual when speaking to her.
" Then I am not healthy. It may be better
not to have the thoughts; but If they come, one
can't help It. One can't help one's nature.
And that is what my nature is — to be, oh, so
frightened ! "
As the days passed on, the poor child be-
came more and more terrified when she
thought of the doom awaiting her in her
opening career. The nearer it came, the
greater grew her horror of it. It was always
in her mind : a background for all her thoughts.
At night sometimes she would wake shudder-
ing, almost screaming, from a dream of im-
pudent, indifferent faces crowding round her,
pressing her in tightly, and forcing her to sing,
her music presenting itself to her as a visible
form of wondrous beauty torn from her heart
to be trampled on and Insulted by strangers.
Sometimes Griselda would sit pondering over
her fate till her eyes were straining from their
sockets, her lips were dry and hard, and her
brain seemed consumed by fire, leaving her, as
'' FOR henry's sake." 207
she thought, on the verge of madness. Then
she would start up and resolve to fly — whither,
she cared not. But always familiar cowardice
stopped her, and made her sit down again,
with a dreary calmness telling of despair and
not of hope.
•* Let me die ! " the poor child would sob at
these moments ; " let me die! I do not want to
live. No other life can be worse than this.
Only let me die!" Once she had cried in a
moment of passion, '' Let me die, O God ! or,
if I must live, take away my voice." But with
the words another and a new horror seized her.
For what had she asked ? Asked to be robbed
of the one thing she loved in the world ?
Asked to have all the blossom and the scent
and the glory of her life taken away ? *' No,
no ; not that, O God I " she cried, again falling
on her knees ; *' I knew not what I was saying !
Kill me ; blind me ; anything ! But leave me
my voice ! leave me my voice ! "
She rose and went to the piano, with a
calm that surprised herself. She sang with
an unwearying energy, astonishing her father,
208 A DREAMER.
who had heard her complaining of late. She
talked to him cheerfully of her progress, and
of the compliments her teacher had paid her
in the morning. She worked for many days
with a zeal and a seeming hopefulness that
were quite new in her.
And then the reaction came ; and she cried
again, " Is there no escape ? May I not
One day she said eagerly to Philip Temple,
*' Couldn't you find me something else to do ?
You are wise and go about In the world : you
could find something. I know I am foolish,
but I am not stupid. I can learn things. If
you could find something I could learn quickly
and turn into money at once, then my music
would not have to be sold."
Philip shook his head. " You are not fit for
the things other girls do — governessing and
" Ah no. I know nothing but music. And
I should be ridiculous as a teacher. I was
talking nonsense. I must go on. Why do
you make me talk of what I hate ? Let us
'' FOR henry's sake." 209
talk about the part I love. The fact that it is
music I am devoting my life to."
Her cheek glowed as she spoke. Philip
watched her pleasurably.
'' I think," he said, in the quiet low voice that
never sounded irreverent, " God made a mis-
take in giving you a voice. Why did He not
give you the spirit that ought to go with a
voice ? "
" I often ask that, I\Ir Temple. The thought
of that kind of singing is just torture to me,
but I must do it. He means me to do it. It
is my duty, and I mean to do my duty if I
can," said Griselda, steadily.
'' I wish you liked it better."
'' Duty generally consists in doing what we
don't like," said Ralph : " even Christ pleased
*' Christ had only to die. I could do that, I
think," replied Philip, dreamily.
" No, Mr Temple," interposed Griselda's
gentle, earnest voice ; " He had to live first,
just as we have."
*' He had easy work."
VOi.. I. O
210 A DREAMER.
*' Yes; He went about helping people, and
had always friends with Him. But perhaps
it was not always easy to Him. Think of
thirty years in a carpenter's shop when He
wanted to be out in the world doing some-
'' It has always puzzled me," said Philip,
" why everything is made wrong, like that.
Why are people not put into places that suit
them ? We think ourselves stupid when we
put the right foot into the left shoe ; but that
is — say what you like, Ralph — what God does.
He puts an active man into a carpenter's shop,
and a frightened child into an opera; and when
they might be doing some good in the world,
they are spending all their time trying to cram
themselves into the shoe."
" And if that very process makes them
better ? " said Ralph.
" Oh, I hope it will," cried Griselda ; " it is
what we all want, is it not ? Oh, it is wrong
of me to complain so much — I know it is. I
wish I could forget myself, and do my work
without crying over it. But it is only you I
FOR henry's sake." 211
talk to like this, and things puzzle me so. I
shall learn better some day I hope, Ralph."
What was the use of telling Griselda she
would "get over" this terror and anxiety ? It
weighed on her none the less. She had an-
other fear also. One day, talking to Philip,
she said, sinking her voice till it was scarcely
" I get so frightened at papa sometimes ! I
must not fail as a singer, or he will want to sell
me. He has said so often," she continued, in
the same horrified whisper, " that people will
want to marry me. He will choose some rich
man and sell me to him."
'' No one can force you to marry against
your will, Griselda."
'' But if I did will it ? I can imagine myself
getting into that state that I would do any-
thing to escape from my life. And marrying
might seem the least of evils. You don't know
how afraid of myself I am ! " She raised her
head and looked at him with a mute agony in
her eyes that cut Philip to the heart. He did
not speak for a moment. It seemed to him
212 A DREAMER.
Important how he counselled her. Griselda,
impulsive, vehement, highly sensitive, appeared
just one of those beings who go wrong, and
then find a lifetime too short for repentance.
If anything he said, or failed In saying, should
lead to this misery, could he ever forgive him-
Griselda meanwhile was anxiously awaiting
his answer. She had not meant to say any-
thing so serious. She hardly expected help
from anybody. Once she had said something
of the same kind to Ralph, and he had answered
by trying to comfort her. " God will take care
of you, my poor child," he had said. '* Do not
be frightened. Trust yourself to Him." She
had been grateful for the kindness, but It had
not helped her. Ralph did not understand
the fear possessing her. She had not meant
to speak of It to any one else. But Philip had
Impressed her Imagination as a prophet ; she
looked up In his face with the same embar-
rassino^ and touchlnor confidence as that with
which she had, when a child, asked him the
name of a book. He felt now as little capable
"FOR henry's sake." 213
as he had felt then of being a moral teacher ;
yet he dared not turn away. She was asking
for bread — he dared not give her a stone.
The fibres of his own nature quivered too
strongly in unison widi hers for him to attempt
consolation as Ralph had done. He could
only give her s\Tnpathy.
" We must be afraid of ourselves/' he said :
" that pain is nothing to the pain of remorse."
She did not answer. Philip's thoughts
wandered. His mem or}* was capricious and
highly tenacious of certain mental sensations ;
a slight allusion could bring them ba<^ with
the clearness of yesterday. He was not think-
ing of Griselda ; he was li^-ing again through
certain hours of acute suffering in his own life.
She came over to him and touched his arm.
'* Have you felt that ?^ she said, in a whisper.
" I have felt enougL I know what it would
be. I taught Henr}- to gamble — and other
things. I killed him. He was like you once
— no, not in the least like you." Philip in-
terrupted himself abruptly, looking down on
the delicate face beside him, with the soft eves
214 A DREAMER.
fixed on his. '^'Grlselda, don't ask me that
history. Don't ask me what remorse is. May
you never feel it." He paused, and covered
his face with his hands. What made him
talk so to this child ?
'' What must we do ? " she said, presently.
" We must sternly resolve, Griselda, that
there are some things we will never do — so
stern we must be, that to break our resolve
would be sin to us, even if the thing itself
appeared right," said Philip, half in a dream,
talking of he scarce knew what.
" And if we fail ?" whispered Griselda.
" God help us then," said Philip, solemnly.
He had forgotten what had led to this ; he
was lost in his own thoughts.
Griselda again gazed at him intently, but
the trouble and perplexity still shone from her
eyes. She clasped her hands, and cried, " Oh,
you are right ; I am sure you are right ! but
I should still be terrified. The great tempta-
tions of life — the temptations that make us
fall — are 7io^ those we have thought of and
resolved about. They come up suddenly, and
''FOR henry's sake." 215
we know nothing of them, and have no time
to think. They seem to slap us on the face
and stun us, and prevent us from doing what
we should like to do. And there is no time
to think, and we have to do something quick,
quick, without thinking. And we do the
wrong thing, and all is over. That is what
Philip had no reply to make. They stood
gazing into each other's eyes as if they read
coming trouble there. The future was impene-
trable to them both ; but the mysterious pre-
cursor of doom had laid his finger on them,
and without recognising him, they felt his pres-
ence. How long they stood thus they could
not tell. Philip was recalled to the actual
present by the girl suddenly turning deadly
pale, as if fainting. He caught her as she
would have fallen, and laid her on a sofa.
In a moment she revived, but they said no
more that night.
Whitsuntide fell early In June. Agnes and
her husband were at Salehurst. One evenlne
there was a great party there : Philip was pres-
ent : Griselda also ; she, not as a mere guest.
Agnes Intended to keep her little cousin for
the night, and to be very kind and sisterly to
her ; but she was to pay her for her services.
Griselda came as a professional singer.
Agnes knew no one to whom she could
confide her feelings about this forlorn little
cousin. Oliver was most unsympathetic; Philip
was out of the question, of course ; nobody else
cared about the beginning of the story, and
Agnes had no wish to tell that. But she felt
strongly that she owed her cousin something,
and she never lost the desire to pay some of
the debt. Agnes wished Griselda were not
'-' FOR henry's sake." 21/
working for her bread : In vain she told her-
self ''that is entirely Uncle William's fault."
A troublesome suspicion, nay, a smothered
conviction that it was partly her fault, silenced
this desirable argument. If she could have
done it conveniently, without trouble, or ex-
planation, or publicity, Agnes would have
given half her Income to keep Griselda off
the boards of the theatre. But she knew it
was impossible ; she scarcely suggested it to
herself; she certainly never suggested It to
Oliver. But what she told herself, and what
she told her husband (whenever she dared),
was that she Intended to be very kind to
Griselda : to watch over her and help her In
any way she conveniently could. Now it was
quite evident that a little money would be of
great use to the child ; she would not receive
it as a present, but she consented to work for
It ; and Agnes felt she was doing her a real
charity by allowing this, and by Introducing
the little sInQfer as her own near relation.
Oliver found a o^reat source of amusement
in his wife's conscience. He had no internal
2l8 A DREAMER.
conscience himself, and never brought up his
doings before that stern court of justice which
sits In the breasts of the generality of men.
Any conscience he possessed was external.
He would do nothing scandalous ; he did not
wish to be disapproved, by more than one or
two persons at least. Oliver's system worked
very well : most simple systems do. There
was no one in the county more honoured and
respected than he. Agnes was popular and
respected also, probably through her associa-
tion with her husband. Her own system was
by no means so simple as Oliver's, and had
she been able to carry it out, might not have
succeeded so well. But he directed In every
matter of Importance, and directed on his own
system. Agnes obeyed, being given no choice.
Oliver considered Griselda of no importance
whatever. If Agnes liked to do her a good
turn — all right.
Philip Temple very seldom thought of the
dubiousness of Agnes's position. Even his
renewed acquaintance with Griselda had scarce-
ly reminded him of it.
" FOR henry's sake." 219
But to-night the young man, who was highly
sensitive to impressions, suffered under a re-
vival of his old stronor condemnation of A^nes.
He was suddenly struck by the painful con-
trast between the cousins, which Agnes herself
did not seem to feel In the least. There was
she, beautiful, dignified, courted, self-import-
ant, her every claim admitted without the
smallest hesitation. Philip looked at her and
admired her — not with his old boyish worship,
but with a dispassionate criticism. He could
find no line to alter in her face or figure : she
was the handsomest woman he had ever seen,
and she became her crimson robe exceedingly
well ; and also she became her position as pos-
sibly no other woman could have done. In
a corner of the same room sat a little shrink-
ing creature in a severely simple white frock ;
she was quite alone ; she was an utterly un-
important person — as yet. Agnes went over
to her : she bent her stately head patronis-
ingly ; she was kind to the child ; she did her
best to make others kind to her also. Philip
felt himself blushing. Agnes was not in the
220 A DREAMER.
least ashamed of herself. He was ashamed for
her. The perfect face, the matchless form,
had suddenly become hateful to him. How
dared she treat the child so ? He walked
away ; he could not look at it.
Griselda was a most unmanageable little
person. She plainly disliked her position, and
resisted all attempts to draw her into the sur-
rounding gaiety. She threw all her natural
energy into her part in the evening's entertain-
ment, singing whenever she was asked, and
singing exceedingly well. But she was cross,
and refused to be complimented or amused ;
she would not dance ; she scorned every at-
tempt to please her ; she was as snappish as
possible with all the benevolent old ladies,
who were just the right people to befriend her.
Once Philip found her hiding in a curtained
recess, where, thinking herself secure from
observation, she was allowing a few tears to
trickle down her cheeks. He followed her,
intending to remonstrate with her for obsti-
nately making a martyr of herself
''She will come and dance with me," he said
" FOR HENRY S SAKE. 221
to himself ; but when he saw she was crying,
he only thought of comforting her.
She turned impatiently at his step, and her
eyes flashed dangerously ; but Philip said, very
" Griselda, tell me what is the matter with
" There's nothing the matter."
*' But I saw you crying."
" Then you had no business to see me cry-
ing. I hate people who are always peeping
and trying to pry into other people's affairs."
After which speech she stole a glance at him,
and seeing that he looked excessively amused,
she began "to cry again, rubbing her eyes
childishly with her knuckles.
" Griselda," said Philip, " what is the use of
beinof cross with me ? Now tell me what is the
matter. I will take you home if you wish."
" And make me run away from my busi-
ness ? That w^ould not be much help. I tell
you there is nothing the matter, only I have
not got accustomed to being treated as a thmg
yet." She still spoke crossly ; but a minute
222 A DREAMER.
after she looked up doubtfully in his face, and
said childishly, in quivering tones, '' Please
forgive me." She seemed a mere child to
Philip. He took her hands caressingly and
drew her towards him.
*' Come back to your business, then, you little
thing, and be brave over it," he said, smiling.
Griselda coloured deeply, and withdrew her
hands, but she came out of the recess quietly,
and presently her sweet voice was ringing
through the room once more.
Philip was a little distressed by what he had
done : that deep flush had reminded him that
Griselda was not quite a child.
*' I hope Ralph would not mind," he said to
himself. '' She is a dangerous little girl ; but
if there were no spectators, no harm is done.
She understands well enough."
Possibly it was then that Philip asked him-
self why he took so much interest in her, and
answered that it was "for Henry's sake."
There had been a spectator. Agnes had
watched the little scene, and had formed her
own conclusions. Perhaps she was a little
'• FOR HENRY S SAKE. 223
less tender to Griselda during the rest of the
evening. But she bore PhiHp no malice : she
pressed his hand less coldly than usual when
she bid him good night. Perhaps she thought
she owed him something too. Agnes's was
not a simple nature like her husband's.
Of all the brave schemes for the improve-
ment of the Salehurst estate that Agnes and
Philip had concocted together in the days of
their engagement, but very few had been car-
ried out. Agnes had not lost her Interest in
them, but her husband was a perpetual hin-
drance to her. For a long time after her
marriage she had ventured no suggestions.
A very short acquaintance with Oliver had
shown her that a suggestion would be a ven-
ture. As the months rolled on, she feared
him more and more ; and when alone with
him she spoke as little as possible. Now
that four years of their marriage were over,
she regarded life simply in the light of en-
durance : she had made an irretrievable mis-
take, the consequences of which must be
borne to the end. She still had wishes,
224 A DREAMER.
plans, schemes ; but, mostly, they were no
longer part of herself. They were remnants
of the past clinging to her as a few wither-
ed leaves clinof to a tree after their life is
gone ; or else they were taken up as some-
thing expected of her, — something it was her
duty to feel, but in which she had neither
heart nor energy. Oliver had ground the
life out of her hopes and aims, and had
pooh - poohed her plans. This scheme was
impossible ; that was unnecessary ; the other,
premature. Let her leave it to him ; he
would see that everything was done properly.
Very likely Oliver was right. Salehurst pros-
pered. But Agnes's energies, never called
forth in her girlhood, were crushed now : they
were like a struggling flame, long smothered,
and at last, when bursting into life, extin-
guished by a breath.
Probably he had no notion of the mis-
chief he was doing : his own nature was very
simple and very unsympathetic. The half-
tints, the little intricacies, the fine sensibilities
of another nature were lost on him. Their
'' FOR HENRY S SAKE. 225
existence had no reality for him ; they were
"sentiment, you know, and that sort of thing."
He never suspected their presence in Agnes,
whom he imagined very like himself, but
spoiled by a woman's morbid conscience.
He had some root of affection in him. He
was fond of his wife, and would have liked a
little more affection from her. Acrnes's su-
preme coldness irritated him, and made him
take pleasure in wounding her. He was
fond of little Lily also in a way — that is, he
was proud of her, and liked to have her
with him for a few minutes when he had
nothing to do ; or he liked to bring her a
new toy, and to witness her pretty delight in
receiving it. He did not want to be bothered
by talking to or playing with her ; but once
or twice he had astonished the dignified nurse
by finding his way into the nursery to look
at the sleeping child, and perhaps to touch
her fair curly hair with his hand.
Ao-nes did not care for the child so much
as this even. She attended to her more, per-
haps ; purposed to bring her up on the most
VOL. I. p
226 A DREAMER.
approved system, and often had her with her
when strangers were present (from which
arose a report that Mrs Temple - Mortimer
was the most devoted mother in existence).
But, on the whole, poor little Lily had a love-
less home : neither father nor mother awakened
one chord of affection in her heart. She was
more perfecdy indifferent to them than she
was to the grand nurse, who at least kissed
her when she tumbled down and hurt herself.
Let us return to Agnes and the village of
Salehurst. It was Oliver who had proposed to
rebuild the school-house. Agnes had agreed
apathetically. Her interest was aroused, how-
ever, when she found that, if she chose, she
might have the principal management of the
undertaking. Agnes called Philip to her as-
sistance : long ago they had discussed the
On the morning after the party, when Philip
alone remained of all the guests, Agnes called
him into the library to talk about the new
school. She saw that he was in a bad hu-
mour, and she hoped to beguile him out of it
" FOR HENRY S SAKE. 22/
by reference to his good works. Philip felt
he had done much good in this matter of the
school-house. It was not merely all his val-
uable suggestions and advice that elated him ;
he had another source of satisfaction. He
had recommended as architect a protdgd of
his own. This Edward Bentley was a most
worthy young man, but burdened by a heavy
debt incurred under the pressure of various
misfortunes ; not having a good connection,
and therefore having' very little to do, he
made small advance towards paying his re-
sponsibilities, and was always oppressed and
careworn. Agnes expressed great interest in
him, and declared she would be delighted to
give the new school-house into his hands, beg-
ging Philip to let her have his address at once.
Philip went to the young man himself, and
told him that he had a job for him. It was
pleasant to see the joyous excitement that
overspread the anxious desponding face, —
and indeed he had every right to be pleased,
for the patronage of the Temple- Mortimers
was worth having.
228 A DREAMER.
After this, It may be Imagined Philip was
annoyed to find this morning that his Inter-
view with Edward Bentley had been prema-
ture, and had raised a false expectation In
the struggling man. Agnes had abandoned
him, and had already made an agreement
with a more celebrated person.
'' He will think I have cheated him ! " ex-
claimed Philip, angrily.
" What a pity you were so rash ! " said
" Mr SImmonds is a very able man," she
continued, after a pause ; '' he has built sev-
eral beautiful churches. Have you seen St
Matthew's on Bayly Heath ? "
" Bentley knows a vast deal more about
schools/' growled Philip, internally enraged at
what he chose to consider her bad faith, and
the cool way in which she had rolled the blame
on to him.
" We are thinking of restoring the church,"
said A^nes. " I am Inclined to think It ouorht
to be done before we build the schools."
*' People are eternally restoring churches ! "
*' FOR HENRY S SAKE. 229
cried Philip. '' What is the use of it ? Who
admires whitewash, and imitation windows,
and nineteenth-century Norman work, and all
the hideous folly of a modern reredos, and
altar, and bran-new organ case, and boards for
the Commandments, painted and illuminated,
out of a monkish missal, in imitation of the
two tables of stone you suppose, as if Moses
had any time for that sort of folly ? "
" Oh, do stop," interrupted Agnes, with
her graceful smile ; *' you take my breath
away. We had no thought of eclipsing
"Is your church falling down, or what is it ?
Can't the parson preach in the little pulpit he
is accustomed to 1 or do you want to capture
an echo that interferes with his favourite doc-
trines ? Why not let the church alone ? It
is a venerable structure, pretty enough in its
way. Let it live a natural life and die a
natural death like any other old building.
When a tree is dying, do you plaster it with
artificial bark and stick on new leaves with
pins ? I am sick of restored churches, with
230 A DREAMER.
their monstrosities, like nothing in nature or
art. And the parsons, who ought to be teach-
ing people how to live, or helping them to die,
mount on ladders and gape at the poor fools
painting the groining in the roof; or fly about
all England, hunting for a new device to intro-
duce their gas in a pre-Raphaelite, or Byzan-
tine, or monstrous nineteenth -century, ritual-
istic, artistic manner. For heaven's sake, let
the church alone, and don't distract the curate
from his parish duties ! Build your school, that
half the children in the district may not grow
up in ignorance because there is no space for
them in the class-room, or because they get
asphyxia from the bad air, or chronic bron-
chitis from the damp. I was talking to your
schoolmaster yesterday, and he says he won't
stay another year, not he, even if the new
buildings are begun ; that it would require the
patience of Job to endure such an ill-arranged
place ; that there is no room to do anything he
wants ; that he can't teach grammar to the first
class without the second class and a pupil-
teacher bawling bad spelling in his pocket.
"FOR HENRYS SAKE. 231
And his wife caught a fever last year, and one
of his babies is dying now, because there is
no attempt at proper drainage in his house.
And you, Agnes — you talk of restoring the
church ? "
'' That schoolmaster Is a very discontented
person," said Agnes, soothingly. She knew
that Philip was venting his ill-humour in these
Oliver was In the room comparing his own
smiling equanimity with the ferocity of his
cousin, much to his own advantage, as may
readily be supposed. He never was out of
temper when more than one person were pres-
ent. Oliver was delighted that Philip should
have the trouble of that confounded school-
house ; but he liked him none the better for
It was a wet afternoon and not a pleasant
one. Oliver was not well and shut himself up
in his study. Agnes was unhappy ; she feared
that Philip was slipping away from her. What
made him care so much about this Mr
232 A DREAMER.
Philip went out, but having lost some of his
boyhood's delight in being wet through, was
soon driven in by the rain. He had not for-
given Agnes ; she was a very crooked per-
son. Some of the horror with which he had
first discovered her crookedness returned, and
without the affection that had softened it in
former days. Philip was restless and dissatis-
fied ; he wished himself back in London : a
holiday that is a failure is a great evil.
Matters did not improve when, in the course
of the afternoon, Mr Benson, the old lawyer,
made his appearance and was invited to stay
" He has come on business," said Agnes to
Philip. '' Oliver has been wanting to see him
for some time, and we told him we should be
here all this week."
Her manner was not different from usual,
and there was nothing improbable in what she
said, but Philip was oppressed with a sense of
unreality. He turned away, wondering what
brought the man here, and hating himself for
thinking it anything unnatural.
"FOR HENRYS SAKE. 233
Agnes's eyes filled with tears ; it was this
man Benson who had separated her from
Philip. How Philip had changed since then!
Oliver would not come to dinner, and his
cousin found himself to a certain extent in the
position of host. Every one was unpleasantly
reminded of that day years before, when
trouble had begun. When Philip and the
old man were left alone with the wine, a frown
settled on the brow of the former, and he spoke
little and sulkily. Mr Benson remembered
him, and was surprised to meet him again
The lawyer hated Oliver Temple, who had
never taken the trouble to conciliate him. Of
late Agnes herself had offended him, and the
desire of finding revenge in vaguely annoying
them prompted him to talk of the subject that
he knew they would least desire, and of which
Philip's appearance had reminded him. The
young man watched the clock once more with
impatience. He fell to wondering why time is
so variable in its pace, and was mentally ex-
tending a favourite theory. The minutes were
234 A DREAMER.
passing slowly to-night for the same reason
that the sun sometimes looks black. Neither
time nor colour had real existence, but were
only mental perceptions. There was no reason
why time should proceed, or seem to proceed,
uniformly, therefore, &c. &c.
He was listening all the while to Mr Ben-
son, as we listen to a sermon when half asleep
— dreaming of a fish, perhaps, yet hearing
the words justification and sanctificatlon, and
marking a new pronunciation or a lapse in
grammar. (And here I pause to inquire if
all persons are thus conscious while they are
dozing, or if it is a peculiarity of Philip's and
mine ? At any rate, it is a most painful con-
dition — a good punishment for inattention in
" I suspect," chuckled Mr Benson, startling
Philip out of his dream, *' that Mr Mortimer
had a vast deal more to say to it than we
think ; and who knows but Mrs Agnes could
tell all about it too ? She's a cunning one."
Philip pushed back his chair in disgust, and
rose, though Mr Benson's glass was still un-
'' FOR henry's sake." 235
emptied. He did not speak to the old man
again that night, and as soon as possible he
escaped to his own room to try and compose
the whirl that had arisen in his thoughts.
Strange as it may seem, the idea suggested
by the shrewd, vulgar, unprincipled man, had
never occurred to Philip before, and now he
flung it indignantly from him. But it brought
up a host of unpleasant recollections. A scene
almost forgotten, which, at the time of its oc-
currence, had vividly impressed his imagina-
tion, flashed across his memory with that
freshness which is unpleasant In its unnat-
uralness. He saw again a darkened room,
a kneeling figure burning something on the
hearth ; a scared face raised to his, and white
lips uttering indifferent words that now he
could not hear. He had begun to doubt
Agnes then, — he doubted her more now ; yet
still he accused her of nothing distinct.
Philip descended the stairs slowly. Agnes
met him in the hall, looking sad and anxious,
a rare matter, for on that beautiful face passing
emotion was seldom printed.
2^6 A DREAMER.
" Listen to the rain ! " she said. '' I have
ordered a fire. It has been a wretched day ;
but Mr Benson is gone, and we can have a
comfortable evening. Is anything the matter,
PhiUp?" she asked, doubtfully. He was
slipping away from her : the fact made her
timid, yet even more anxious to retain him.
Philip did not answer. He stood by the
fire absorbed in his own thoughts, not just
then amiable ones towards Agnes ; but he
had heard what she said, and after a few
minutes became conscious that she waited a
reply, and that her large beautiful eyes were
resting on him, and dim with tears. Some-
thing in their expression made Philip uncom-
fortable. He moved away, and said abruptly,
and not very relevantly —
"It rains a great deal here, I think." He
was thinking of a night when he had paced
for an hour under the trees, not heeding the
pelting rain, being too terribly stricken by the
first insinuated doubt of her. Agnes had for-
gotten that rainy night. Her thoughts were
in the painful present, as she watched him
" FOR HENRY S SAKE. 23/
sadly, and listened to the pattering on the
window - panes. Those sad watching eyes
recalled the present to Philip also. He began
to think how he could cut short his visit and
leave the house.
Circumstances came to the rescue. A
telegram arrived from Alton Moat, General
Temple's house, saying that the old man was
dying, and desired his grandson. Oliver,
who disliked night journeys and deathbeds,
made the most of his rheumatism : Philip at
once volunteered for the painful duty. It
was not much more than ten when he hur-
riedly took his leave. Agnes watched him
out of the house with pathetic eyes, then
turned to her husband, and looked at him
indifferently, as if she were a statue. Oliver,
who was really suffering, would have liked a
word of sympathy. She gave him none. He
waited, hoping for some slight token of affec-
tion, then raised his eyes to look at her. The
beautiful face, cold and hard in its expression,
affected him disagreeably. He ceased to ex-
pect anything from her, and gave vent to his
238 A DREAMER.
disappointment in a low whistle not pleasant
to hear. Agnes left him and went to her
own room, where she locked herself in. Lily
was crying in her little bed close at hand, but
Agnes heeded her not. Oliver heard the
child from his room below, and wished some
one would comfort the little creature ; but he
ventured on no step in the matter himself.
The grand nurse was away at her supper;
the nursery-maid was new, and greatly dis-
liked by Lily. The neglected child cried
herself to sleep unsoothed.
" There is a curse on the house," Philip
had said to himself as he left it. " My first
thought was best, that I would not enter it
The chill of daybreak made Philip shiver as
he left the train and walked quickly to Alton
Moat. He left the town of Ponchester, with
its silent streets and still unawakened house-
holds, and set forth along a straight white road,
traversing a marshy expanse, and marked at
intervals by pollarded willows. Now and then
a sudden gust of rain blinded him, and the
east wind blew in his teeth, and howled dis-
mally over the silent fields. Philip was tired,
for a night journey in a slow train stiffens
even young limbs.
It was at Ponchester that he had once long
ago met with an accident, pulling an old gate-
way down on himself, in the endeavour to
release a child that had imprisoned itself in
rashly interfering with a structure grown un-
240 A DREAMER.
reasonable from age. Some of Philip's ad-
ventures had been quite foolish and unlucky
enough for Don Quixote.
He remembered to-day the confused sen-
sation with which, trying to believe himself
unhurt, he had remounted his pony to return
to the Moat after the disaster, and the relief of
seeing some one come forward and undertake
the guidance of the quadruped. He remem-
bered how, when his senses were still more
benumbed, he had asked '' if the parsonage
were in sight ; " after which he had suddenly
felt ashamed of having said something foolish,
and had determined to speak no more till he
were better. Ah ! till he were better. It had
been a long time. Here the road turned a
little, and brought him into a somewhat less
desolate scene. It was at this corner that he
had abandoned the struggle to retain con-
sciousness, and had believed himself to be
dying, as who does not in a first faint ?
Philip paused as the old house came in sight,
to indulge in the luxury of minute recollection,
and realise the fact that to-day, at any rate.
*' FOR henry's sake." 241
he was strono- and well. Those lonor weeks
of illness had made a dreary association for
the old place, yet they had endeared it to him.
He had grown fond of the deeply-recessed,
weird rooms, with the narrow windows and
the wide hearths ; fond of the kind old man
who had always made a favourite of him, and
who had never come near him in his illness
without distracting his shattered nerves by
offers to raise the blinds, or lower the blinds,
or open the door, or shake the cushions, or
something else equally kind and unnecessary.
He had learned to appreciate his mother's
patience which had borne his every mood
without one murmur ; his father's strong arm
had been always ready to support his first
tottering steps, and to smile him back to cour-
age and hope. How well he remembered
watching the sunset as he lay under the much-
belauded mulberry-tree ! or staring Into the
still water of the moat, and wondering how
many living creatures, which no microscope
could ever make visible to human eye, preyed
among the roots of the w^ater-lilies ! It was a
VOL. I. Q
242 A DREAMER.
long time ago ; the old place had fallen Into
yet deeper decay since then. Philip almost
wished the time could return when as yet he
had not tried life save in schoolboy fashion.
So much had happened since then! There was
so much he wished undone. The old place was
not connected with his failures. He stood long
looking at the house and musing regretfully.
Ah, if those old days might return ! If he
could be a boy again, visiting his grandfather
in the holidays ! If he shut his eyes for a
moment, and stopped his ears so as to isolate
himself for a space from all the outer world,
and with it from time and his own outer self,
would it follow inevitably that his eyes and
ears would reopen on the same time and
scene to which they had closed ? Might not
the past return like the waking after a sleep ?
or might he not — if that isolating process were
complete — find himself in some new sphere,
with a new past and a new present, surrounded
by new creatures and scenes, himself new, yet
*' I am a dreamer," said Philip, rousing him-
" FOR henry's sake." 243
self — " a fool ; and the old man is dying. Let
Alton Moat stood In the midst of a flat and
doleful waste. In olden times the little hill
on which it stood had been almost an island ;
now it was surrounded by what served as
pasture-land, cows and sheep browsing con-
tentedly on the large fields, bounded and tra-
versed by ditches. Along these grew pollarded
willows, and here and there were groups of
larger trees, their dark foliage scarcely enliven-
ing the solemn aspect of the landscape. Mills
and lone houses were scattered at intervals; but
the only conspicuous object for a considerable
distance was Alton Moat itself, standing as it
did on a slight eminence overtowered by trees.
It had stood there for centuries unchanged,
though the surrounding land had been redeemed
from marsh, and the encircling moat had long
been a means of drainage rather than of de-
fence. The house and its garden were within
the moat, and still the Inhabitants entered by
a drawbridge, long, however, immovable. The
house, built In the old feudal times, had been
244 A DREAMER.
considered a miracle of strength then, its eleva-
tion and the almost impassable nature of the
surrounding country combining to give it a
commanding position. The feudal lord had
lived in the tower, and the site of the pres-
ent garden had been covered with the dwell-
ings of his dependants. A great man was he;
but practically he had few enemies to combat,
and the very security of his position must have
produced a wearisome solitariness.
The tower had scarcely changed in appear-
ance since the days of feudalism ; and inside
also it wore an old-world air. The Temples
were conservative and poor ; they were not
an important family now, and Alton Moat was
forgotten by the world at large.
The old general was glad to see Philip
instead of Oliver. " Look, my lad," he said ;
" I'd like to have done something for you if
I had been able. It is a satisfaction to me
that the Moat will be yours some day. I like
to fancy you and your wife and little ones
living here merrily as I lived once."
'' Very well, grandfather," said Philip, bend-
'•' FOR HENRY^S SAKE. 245
ing over him and smiling. *' Fancy what you
please. I never pull down other people's
castles in the air. But don't set me buildinor
them if you have any value for my peace
The old housekeeper, Margaret, beckoned
Philip out of the room. " Shall we send for
a clergyman, Master Philip ? '' she said, crying.
" He never took much heed to his soul, sir."
INIargaret was a Baptist. Philip's smile van-
'' How do you know ? " said he ; and added,
" Margaret, what are you talking of? Do you
think God would not rather receive a soul as
He made it, than covered up in a new gar-
ment of religion, hastily stitched together,
and donned in a panic ? It would never fit,
you may be sure."
" Ah, Master Philip, that is because you do
not understand ! I wish your father, ]\Ir Ar-
thur, was here with us. \Mien will he come,
sir, do you think ? "
"Not in time to see him, Margaret. Never
fear; leave him to his God."
246 A DREAMER.
Philip returned to the bedside. The old
man did not speak connectedly again. At
about eleven o'clock the grandson rose to
his feet and closed the dead eyes.
The sun was shining softly through the
green panes of the latticed window, and as
Philip opened it, he was greeted by a faint
scent from the fields around. It was Sunday
morning, and the sound of bells was wafted
across the pastures from the churches in
the town. Everywhere was the hush of
peace, and most peaceful of all was the quiet
figure on the bed, sleeping in the arms of
The young man in the midst of his life
and strength felt subdued and hushed. The
despondency and unrest that had reigned in
his heart a few hours before could find no
room there now. " Let my last end be like
this,'' he murmured. What could he more
desire than a long and honourable life, full
of activity and benevolence, duties well done
and sorrows patiently borne, to be closed at
last by a painless death in the fulness of
" FOR HENRY S SAKE. 247
age, with one he loved beside him to hold
his hand and shut his eyes ?
Back in London, Philip did not fail to visit
his little friend, Griselda Mortimer. He found
her weary and depressed, with very evident
signs of tears about her eyes. Philip told her
where he had been, and of the scene he had
'' You were fond of him ? " she asked.
" Very, for the last few years. I only learnt
to know him comparatively lately."
Griselda sighed. " Go on," she said ; and
Philip told of the old man's quiet death, and
of the quiet grave in the country churchyard
where they had laid him.
" Was it very sad ? " asked Griselda. " Those
eastern counties must be very dreary, so flat
and damp and chill. And that old house : it
would make me shiver if I saw it."
'* It was all very peaceful," said Philip.
'^ I don't want peace — that sort of peace —
silence and cold. I cannot bear it. I want
voices and life around me, or I cannot keep
going. Don't you know how you hear your
248 A DREAMER.
heart beating at night when there is no
noise ? ''
"Some day perhaps you will long for the
silence and the peace." *
*' But not in those eastern counties. It
freezes my heart to hear you talk of them —
the old house, and the moat with the water,
and the garden where there are no flowers,
and the cold, cold wind. I should die there."
'* Let us talk of something else," said Philip,
for Griselda seemed nervously excited.
'* Tell me about your grandfather. I like
that. Did he not wish he had died before } "
" Could he wish to be old ? "
" His life had been happy, I think. Till the
end came he was strong and well, and had all
his faculties perfect. Why should he have
wished to die ? "
" It is so hard to imagine other people's
lives. Had he never any trouble ? Real
troubles, I mean. Not just losing one's
" Is that not trouble, Griselda } "
"FOR henry's sake." 249
"It is trouble/' said Griselda, meditatively,
" in the same way that having a tooth pulled
out is illness."
" It takes a long time to recover from,
She looked up, the quick tears filling her
" It leaves a gap," she sobbed ; " that is all."
Philip was silent. Trouble had some mys-
terious meaning for Griselda ; he could not
At last the day came when Griselda was to
make her first appearance at the opera. PhiHp
had not forgotten his promise. As ill luck
would have It, Mr Temple chose that partic-
ular day to come to London on a visit to his
son. However, in the afternoon Philip found
time to look in on Griselda, and see how she
was getting on. He heard Ralph's voice as
he ascended the stair, and Mr Mortimer met
him at the door of the sitting-room.
*' I am thankful to see you," said the latter.
*' You will cheer her up a bit, or I don't know
what's to be done, I am sure."
Griselda was half in hysterics, and Ralph
was vainly endeavouring to calm her. They
both seemed relieved by Philip's appearance.
" It is nonsense to think of her singing to-
''FOR henry's sake." 251
night/' said Ralph. " Can't you persuade Mr
Mortimer of that, Temple ?"
Griselda's eyes turned appeallngly to Philip.
After surveying her for a minute, he smiled,
and said —
" I think she ought to go if she can. I don't
think putting off this business will make It any
easier. Don't you agree with me, little Grls-
elda ? Don't you think you ought to try ? "
She closed her eyes, and said faintly,
** Thank you. Yes ; that Is what I expected
you to say. And I am sure you are right.
Only I don't feel able to do anything at this
" No," said Philip, cheerfully ; '' that is no
matter. You will be all right when the time
comes. Where is Elizabeth ? I am going to
tell her we all want some tea."
Ralph entered Into Philip's spirit, and they
talked in the most lively manner, till Griselda
found herself smiling too.
" Just look at those great white clouds," said
Ralph ; " what are they like ? "
" A feather-bed."
252 A DREAMER.
" For shame, Griselda ! So unpoetical."
''Well then, cream."
*' Could two things be more unlike than a
feather-bed and cream ? "
'' What are they like, Mr Temple ? ''
'' That is very unpoetical."
'' Not at all. Doesn't it bother you, when
you are listening to a sonata, to be told ; — now
this bit is like a flash of lightning ; and here
we have a river ; and there something else,
grammar perhaps. It is all nonsense. It is
not really like anything but music."
*' I still think the cloud is like cream."
'' It is just the beauty of clouds and music
and one or two other things I know of : they
are perfectly unprecedented, and only enjoy-
able for their own sakes. A poem is about
something; a painting represents something;
a cow reminds you of a field and a butcher.
But a cloud reminds you of nothing intelligible.
It is form and colour by themselves. You can
dream about a cloud. Just as music is unin-
telligible to your understanding. Your soul
''FOR HENRYS SAKE. 253
understands it well enough if you don't bother
it by pretending it ought to explain in words."
" Dear me ! " said Griselda.
Philip felt snubbed, and relapsed into
" I wonder you like listening to an opera,
then," observed Griselda, severely.
" Oh, that is a different matter altogether,"
said Philip, reviving. '' I never looked upon
that as music pure and simple. If so, it would
be distraction. No, it is an idealisation ! Life
set to music ! It represents a new world ;
nothing with which we are acquainted, but
something wonderfully delightful. It is a peep
into fairyland, where speech is song, and
dancing is nature, not a sort of game."
"Yes; and where it is all make-believe;
and the fairies are very uncomfortable women
working for their bread."
" Griselda, you of all people should not say
that. Remember you are to make us for-
" Very well ! " she cried, with a sudden
sparkle in her eyes.
254 A DREAMER.
" Now," said Philip, rising, '' you, Griselda,
are to go and sleep as long as you can. Lind-
say must take himself off to smoke. I must
go home and provide my father with some
dinner. We shall all meet again in the even-
ing to be transported to fairyland. Ah ! we
are only going to look on from the outside.
Griselda is going right into it."
They left her smiling, and walked down
the street arm in arm.
" I wish she had some one beside you and
me to look after her," said Philip.
" She is not fit for this sort of life," said
Mr Temple had come up on business con-
nected with his father's property. He ex-
pounded to Philip during dinner, " As I ex-
pected, he left very little money. We have
all we need, so I intend to let it accumulate
for you, Phil."
'' Why, in the world ? "
''Well, I don't believe your schemes will
bring you in much," said Mr Temple, smiling ;
'* and the little you have is evaporating. If
'' FOR henry's sake." 255
you were to marry now, you would find it
'' I am not going to marry. I wish, instead
of hoarding money, you would spend it on the
" I propose to let the Moat."
*' To let the Moat ! "
*' Certainly. I don't want to live there. I
am much more comfortable where I am, apart
from the fact that I would not leave my work."
" But you don't seriously contemplate letting
strangers into the Moat ? "
*' Why not ? " said Mr Temple, smiling
patiently ; " you don't want to go to it, do
*' No — I suppose not. There is nothing on
earth to do there, except reading the old books
and playing on the organ."
" I don't think your performances on the
organ are worth much. It might be well to
sell the organ, I think."
" Father, what are you dreaming of ? You
are a barbarian, worse than Agnes, who is
going to restore her church."
256 A DREAMER.
*' Ah ! that reminds me : our church wants
" Well, you won't cram it with wool-work
and crucifixes. You can't make it much more
hideous than it is. Restore your church,
father, but for heaven's sake don't desecrate
" My dear boy, I am sorry you take it so
much to heart ; but is it not the best thino-
to do ? None of us want to bury ourselves
there, and it is better it should be occupied."
'' There are David and Margaret to live
" If we get a good tenant — I have one in
my eye — it will pay very well. Otherwise it
will only be an expense and a worry."
'' My poor castles in the air ! They always
fall with a crash. I had pictured the Moat a
common home for us all, ever ready to welcome
us, no matter when or why. You could darn
the holes, and patch the staircase, and make
David and Margaret a little more comfortable.
We will go and keep Christmas there as we
did once long ago. Listen ! don't you hear the
"FOR HENRYS SAKE. 257
children from Ponchester singing carols in the
snow outside ? We open the window on the
secret staircase and throw cakes at them, and
then we cluster round the fire In the hall and
disturb old Nero by praising the warmth In-
stead of simply feeling it. The carol-singers
are drinking mugs of hot beer that Margaret
has handed to them, and are shouting hurrah
for the Temples of Alton Moat. And you
want to let strangers in ! "
Mr Temple laughed. '' Well, we must effect
a compromise. The tenant I have In view is
your old friend Dr Anderson. He won't want
more than the front of the house. We can
reserve the tower for ourselves. Will that
suit you ? You can have command of the
old books, and can make a grand observatory
In the tower."
" Old Anderson will want to keep the organ.
That Is the chief merit I see In him,".
** Nay, I think he has great merits. I should
not like to let the Moat to any one who would
not take an interest in It. Anderson cares
quite as much for It as we do."
VOL. I. R
258 A DREAMER.
*' Not he. And he will die of rheumatism
before a year is over. I must go and dress,"
added Philip, rising hastily, after a glance at
'' Are you obliged to go out this evening ? "
said Mr Temple, who disapproved of the
opera. " I have only one night in London."
*' I am very sorry. It is a promise of old
*' A promise to whom ? "
" To one of the singers."
Mr Temple was much disquieted. He did
not like all these queer people whose society
his son frequented. A singer sounded very
Philip paused as he was going out, to say,
" Lindsay is going with me. You have a great
opinion of him, father, haven't you ? Is that
a relief to your anxious mind ? "
He did^iot feel inclined to attempt an ex-
planation about Griselda. Mr Temple would
be sure to misunderstand. However, by the
time he was returned, Philip had convinced
himself that this was a silly mode of treating
" FOR HENRY S SAKE. 259
his father ; and as Mr Temple (who was very
sleepy) and he ate their supper, he entered
into a little history of Griselda, dwelling much
on the intimacy between her and Ralph, and
saying he felt bound to befriend them both.
"For Henry's sake," he ended, a little
'' Well," said Mr Temple, '* it is all right, I
suppose, Phil. But actresses are a dangerous
class of persons. Don't get into that sort of
society, my dear boy, and — I should like to
warn young Lindsay, too, if I could."
Philip smiled that superior smile with w^hich
young people hear their elders talk of warning
He went to bed disquieted, how^ever, his
annoyance about the Moat forgotten in other
things. Griselda had done pretty well ; much
better than he had expected. But the unwill-
ingness he had felt to talk of her had set him
'* I will leave her more to Ralph," he said
to himself sagely, determining, however, to go
and see her to-morrow if possible.
260 A DREAMER.
Philip was anxious to speak to Griselda
about Ralph, and on the following day he
insisted on introducing the topic, at the mere
approach to which she always bridled.
" Why did you refuse him, Griselda ? " asked
" How do you know anything about it ? "
*'Your father ■' began the young man;
but Griselda interrupted —
" I think, if you had thought about it, Mr
Temple, you would have known that papa
ought not to discuss my private affairs with
all the world."
'' Ralph told me himself," said Philip, meekly;
** and I am not all the world, Griselda. Surely
you don't think I would gossip about you from
curiosity ? Am I not too old a friend for
that ? " Philip proceeded to plead his friend's
cause eloquently. Griselda listened with Im-
" Mr Temple," she said, gravely, when he
paused, " would you marry a man because he
was a great friend of yours ? "
** It depends on what you mean by a great
" FOR HENRY S SAKE. 261
friend," said Philip, a little annoyed at being
brought down to details in this manner.
*' I will tell you," said Griselda, seriously :
" I think Ralph is the best man I know. I
love him very dearly, as a friend — a brother,
if you like. But I have never thought of him
as a husband. I have no love of that sort to
give him. And I could not marry him just
because I dislike the life I be^an last nieht.
It would not be fair to him." The allusion to
last nio^ht made her flush and tremble : but
she had spoken with a quiet dignity different
from her usual childish manner. Philip felt
himself a meddler, and replied, apologetically-^
" Well, Griselda, forgive me ; I daresay you
are right." He would have left matters there;
but she, having no great confidence in herself,
and being disposed to regard Philip Temple
as an oracle, checked him as he was going
away, by saying, with some vehemence —
*' But I like to know what vou think. I
feel as if I was right, but then I so often
make mistakes. Say all you meant to say,
262 A DREAMER.
And Philip answered meekly, " I don't
know that I am a great judge, but it has
always seemed to me that you and Lindsay
were cut out for each other. When I saw
you together first, I thought you were en-
Griselda's earnestness was a little discon-
certing. Philip again took up his hat, but
she cried —
" Oh, do stop I Tell me, do you think we
are too intimate ? But it is Ralph's fault, not
mine. He made me promise not to mind
what he had asked me, but to go on as
before. We were always such friends. But
it is no good ; I have never felt the same
to him since. I am always afraid of hurt-
ing him. It is like leaning on some one
with a broken arm. I don't like being alone
with him even. I am always glad if you or
some one comes to help me. Poor, dear old
Ralph ! "
'* But, Grlselda," said Philip, cautiously, ^^ I
still think it would be better if you were his
wife. Are you sure you are not looking for
'' FOR henry's sake." 263
some fantastic feeling, and missing the real
love within your reach ? I think you and
Ralph would make each other happy."
'' Really," said Griselda, " I cannot agree
with you that I should make a nice wife for
Ralph or any one. You must remember
how foolish I am, and how little I know
about things ; and I am always making mis-
takes, and being sorry for them. That would
be too tiresome, — almost worse than making
mistakes and not being sorry. Indeed I am
quite serious. I don't believe I should do
Ralph one bit of good. It is much better for
us not to think of it."
Philip did not answer ; and presently she
" Of course, it would be a good thing for
me in a way ; but still I shouldn't like it.
And other thinors would be difficult. I should
have either to go on singing or to give it up.
I should hate to decide either way. Do you
know what I mean ? "
*' Yes," said Philip, smiling.
" But I dofi^," she cried ; " I don't know
264 ' A DREAMER.
what I mean a bit. I wish you would explain
It to me."
" Explanations are bad things," quoted
Philip. " Man betrligt sich oder den andern
und melst belde."
He went away, deciding In his own mind,
as he had often done before, that he ought
not to be always trying to give advice, and
that Griselda ought to have a sensible womail
to take care of her. j
Little Miss Mortimer sat still in the twi-
light, saying to herself, '^ I have not made
him understand a bit. He thinks I only care
for myself; and I do care for Ralph."
She had spoken aloud, and was a little
ashamed to find Ralph himself standing be-
She coloured, and held out her hand silently.
" You do care for Ralph ? " he said, smiling
sadly; "just a little?"
*' You know I do, Ralph," answered Gris-
elda. They were silent for several minutes.
*' Can It not be, Griselda ? " said he, wist-
'•' FOR HENRY S SAKE. 265
'' Oh, Ralph, I can't ! '' said Griselda. '' I
hate to think I am hurting you ; but I can't
do that — you know I can't."
*' I would take such care of you," said
Ralph. *' You should never be lonely, or
tired, or worried again."
*' Oh, Ralph, I can't ! " repeated Griselda.
*' I would do anything else in the world for
you, but not that. Oh, Ralph, I am sure I
am right ! Don't ask me."
*' Very well, Griselda. I will try to be con-
tent as second-best with you."
** No, Ralph, it isn't that — second-best. It
isn't that I like any one better. Please don't
think that. I don't know what it is in me,"
she said, breaking into tears, and hiding her
face in her hands.
" Griselda, Griselda, don't cry ! Never mind
about me. I shall get on very well. I only
want to see you happy. I should like to
think you were going to marry some other
man, if he loved you as much as I do, that is.
Only, Griselda, let me say one thing. If ever
you change your mind — want me — you wull
266 A DREAMER.
tell me, won't you ? I will come In a moment,
wherever I am."
** Oh, Ralph, I can t— I can't ! Do give it
up. It breaks my heart to make you un-
happy; but I can't."
** Don't break your heart, Grlselda. Things
aren't bad enough for that. I hope they will
never be worse. Please God, it will never
come to breaking each other's hearts," said
Ralph, trying to comfort her.
Philip did not forget his resolution about
leaving Grlselda more to Ralph, but he did
not keep it very well. The failure vexed
him. He was glad in some ways to find that
he was wanted at home for a month, and that
his good-bye to Griselda was likely to be
sooner than he had anticipated. A long
good-bye it would probably be ; for, with the
close of the season, the little singer, now
launched in her profession, was to drift abroad
again. Philip did not expect to see her again
for a long while, unless, indeed, she were to
marry Ralph. He still hoped she would.
Meantime she had become almost too
'' FOR henry's sake." 267
much a part of his own life. She clung to
him a little too much. He found he stayed
too long with her, and that he was disposed
to watch over her too much. It was no great
matter : it meant nothing. But it was just as
well to put a stop to it. And he was not
able to do much in Ralph's cause after all.
'' I shall hear of you from Lindsay, Gris-
elda," he said, after telling her he was come
to say good-bye.
''Yes, Ralph will always know about me,*'
she answered, listlessly. " I wish you were
not going away. Shall we ever meet again ? "
*' Oh, I hope we shall meet again," said
Philip, earnestly ; too earnestly, he thought.
'' Some day I shall come and see if your voice
Is getting spoiled," he proceeded, lightly.
" I will try and remember all the things
you have told me," said Griselda, looking
*' I am not sure about that. Other things."
" Griselda, don't. You believe in me too
much. Most people think me a goose. I am
268 A DREAMER.
inclined to agree with them. Look out for a
better guide, you little thing.''
As Philip walked down the street he felt
greatly disinclined to set about the other
things he had planned for the afternoon.
One of these was a visit to Agnes. " I have
nothing on earth to say to her," he told him-
self. Even a chat with Ralph in the evening
about Griselda did not interest him much.
He was thinking of the downcast troubled
little face too much to care to talk of her.
But he comforted Ralph as usual. " I be-
lieve it will be all right in a year or two,
my dear fellow," he said.
Late one evening a young man sat in a com-
fortable study, with some bills and papers of
different kinds on a table before him. His
face wore a harassed and anxious expression
as he inspected and arranged these, and now
and then he laid his occupation down to think,
with his hand pressed against his forehead.
Presently he rose and rang the bell. A man-
servant, with grave, obsequious face, answered
'' Ask Miss Janet to come here, if you please,
The man retired, and Ralph Lindsay threw
himself Into his father's chair, and awaited his
Janet Lindsay was some ten years older
than her brother : like him, but unfavourably
2/0 A DREAMER.
SO. She had the same irregular, but not un-
pleasant features ; the same smooth, dusky
hair; the same honest, grey eyes. But Janet
was not quiet and patient like Ralph. Her
expression was dissatisfied, her manner often
sharp and ungentle — not always so, however :
if Janet's heart were touched, no one could be
more thoughtful and kind. Her invalid sister,
her delicate, clinging mother, thought Janet
had not her equal in the world — she was so
helpful, so strong and loving. Her faults had
been caused to a great extent by a certain
dreariness in her lot ; an undefined dissatis-
faction with her parents ; a vague longing for
a sphere where nobler work would call for
greater energy. She would have liked to have
been a missionary, or the matron of a hos-
pital, or even a schoolmistress. But her youth
was fading away, and she felt her faculties
rusting for want of use. Her days were passed
in the trivial round appointed to many women :
attending on those who were dependent, and
yet not always in real need; helping her father
in little services which he scarcely appreciated ;
"FOR henry's sake." 2/1
entertaining stupid visitors with stupid talk ;
visiting the poor, who did not care for her
tracts and her advice ; writinof scoldine letters
to Ralph, by means of which she hoped to
stimulate him to high deeds. Ralph, busy
doing his work, was often annoyed by his
sister's letters. He could appreciate her ready
usefulness at home, but he did not perceive
that her irritated advice to him was the out-
come of a heart yearning upward out of un-
" Sit down, Janet," said Ralph ; ** I want to
speak to you about our mother. She must
know at once the condition of my father's
affairs. Will you undertake to tell her ? "
*' She will be greatly shocked. She did not
know, as I did, that he has been living beyond
his income for several years. That Dr Darby
got by degrees all his practice you may say,
and poor papa would not confess it by econo-
mising. I really think people should have
more common-sense than to be surprised when
they are outstripped by younger men. Papa
always regarded Dr Darby's popularity as a
2/2 A DREAMER.
personal insult, and as a thing he would not
acknowledge for all the world : when, consider-
ing the progress of science, and "
'' Never mind that now, Janet," said Ralph,
who had not revered his father too much, but
who nevertheless disliked to hear his impru-
dence commented upon in Janet's sharp unlov-
ing tone ; " what I want you to understand,
and to make my mother understand, is that
a great change in our circumstances is in-
evitable at once. I have put the house into
Robinson's hands already, that it may be
sold as soon as possible, and to - morrow I
shall give the servants notice. There is no
means of keeping it from my mother any
** She trusted poor papa implicitly. When I
hinted that the butcher's bill was unpaid for
several quarters, she said every one liked giv-
ing him credit, as it showed how proud they
were of him. What she meant, I can't tell
you ; and what she will feel now, goodness
'' Will you speak to her to-night ? Robin-
" FOR henry's sake." 273
son's man is coming early to-morrow, to make
a valuation of the furniture."
'' Well, I suppose I must. What do you
wish me to say ? "
" Tell her that my father's money will not
suffice to cover his debts, and there is abso-
lutely nothing left for any of us. But don't
make matters out too black. The surplus
debts are not very large. I can settle them,
and my income will go a considerable way
" I must go out as a governess, I suppose,"
said Janet, not, however, speaking despond-
ently. She was not especially fond of children,
but any active labour would have been accept-
able to her.
"No, Janet," said Ralph, gravely; "you
must stay with our mother and Emily. They
cannot spare you, particularly now that their
expensive maid must be dismissed."
" What are we going to live on, then ? "
asked Janet, with some asperity.
" I can arrange to give you ;/^20O a-year so
long as I am in my present situation. Pos-
VOL. I. S
274 A DREAMER.
sibly I may see my way to something better
before long. Can you manage on that ? "
'' I suppose so," said Janet, grimly, *' if
mamma will be content with a maid -of- all -
work. I don't know, though, Ralph ; it is
only ;^50 a-year each for the four of us ; (we
must have one servant). It might do for
people in health, but "
'' I will make it ^250."
'' But that's a frightful drag upon you,
Ralph. I don't think we ought to allow it.
You may want to marry."
" No. And I shall not let my mother and
Emily suffer more than it is possible to
" But you will want to marry, Ralph. All
men marry sooner or later."
'' Then it must be later with me, — when I
am partner in the firm. You may set your
mind at rest, Janet. There is only one per-
son I should care to marry, and she will have
nothing to say to me, so I shall not need my
Janet was a little awed by the calm voice in
>^ ^ « T^-r- J>
'' FOR HENRY S SAKE. 275
which Ralph mentioned this minor tragedy.
She had never suspected her brother of being
in love, and had been wont to regard him with
some contempt from the heights of what she
considered a disappointment in her own earlier
records. After a few minutes she said —
*' Is there no way of making money faster ?
Business seems very slow work."
*' It requires patience, of course. One can't
expect to be rich all at once."
" But there are other things that pay better
than being a merchant's clerk. Why don't
you join that Mr Walker, who has set up the
land agency ? See how well he is getting on.
And you know of the new machinery patent
he is bringing out. That, he says, is sure to
succeed. And his "
'' That kind of speculation is all very well
for men with something to fall back upon ; but
it is risky work. I have no great opinion
of Walker. He talks very big, but tries
too many trades to make me confident he
has succeeded in one. And as to his land
agency, I have great doubts if he under-
2;6 A DREAMER.
Stands that sort of thing. I am sure I don't,
and I will not impose upon people by join-
'' Well, I think he deserves great credit for
his activity and his energy in leaving no stone
unturned for the benefit of his family. Mrs
Walker was telling me how busy he always
is, liable to be called off at any moment to
Scotland or "
''Well, I hope it is all right. He is not a
man I feel much confidence in. Will you
speak to my mother, Janet ? "
" I only mean, Ralph, that with a little
courage, you too might discover some more
remunerative work. It seems to me such
waste of life to sit all day droning in an
office. If you had a little invention, a little
energy, you might "
" Leave all that to me, Janet. Now, at any
rate, is not the moment to reconstruct my life.
You will help me most by consulting with
Emily and my mother how and where you are
going to live.''
" On ^200 a-year ? "
'' FOR henry's sake." 277
" On ^250 a-year."
" It Is not fair to burden you so, Ralph. It
would be much better to let me be a gover-
ness. Mamma could attend upon Emily ;
and they could keep a maid, perhaps, If I
were supporting myself You could give
" My mother needs attention herself, Janet.
And you will not eat more than a maid. I
assure you there Is nothing else to be done
than what I say, — at present at least. So
please agree to It without arguing over every
Janet went up-stairs to her Invalid sister
and her widowed mother, to tell the unwel-
come news. Ralph meanwhile returned to
the arranging of Dr Lindsay's papers. He
felt bruised by this Interview with Janet.
Her voice, out of Emily's sick-room, was apt
to be loud and somewhat discordant ; the
plainness of speech, on which she prided her-
self, was jarring at times.
" It Is a great thing that one can depend on
her so thoroughly/' said Ralph, by way of
2;8 A DREAMER.
comforting himself; and he knew that in all
the trying circumstances entailed by such a
reverse of fortune, Janet would be a clever,
efficient, uncomplaining manager. Neverthe-
less he was glad it was not his lot to live with
her. '' It is only on roses that thorns are
bearable," he said, thinking of another person
who gave him occasional pricks, but who
seemed to him entirely sweet and lovable.
Then he sighed a little and went up to his
mother, who knew nothing of his trouble, and
was wholly absorbed in her own.
Ralph Lindsay did not suffer much by his
change of fortune. He had never spent more
than about half his income, and now made no
change In his habits beyond moving to smaller
He was wrong in thinking Griselda perfectly
Indifferent to him. She thought of him much,
and often debated in her own mind whether
Philip Temple had been altogether mistaken
in saying she would be better as Ralph's wife.
One sentence of his had Impressed her, and
she asked herself, often fearfully. If she might
not Indeed be missing real affection by looking
for some fantastic dream.
" He made a mistake once himself," she
said, ''and so he ought to know."
The news that Ralph had lost his father
and had been obliged to give up almost all his
income, made her still more inclined to turn to
him. Misfortune, or anything approaching to
heroism, are attractive to women, and it did
seem to Griselda heroic on Ralph's part — not
that he should support his mother and sisters,
but that he should do so without one sigh
of regret or one word of blame for his father.
" Did he leave you nothing ? " she asked.
" Nothing but debts," answered Ralph,
" Aren't you angry with him, Ralph ? "
" Dear — he is my father," said Ralph, gently,
Griselda thought of the many impatient
speeches she had made about her own father,
and was silent.
" I ought to be proud that such a man
should love me," she thought. " If I were
280 A DREAMER.
always with him, he would make me some-
thing like him, perhaps/'
Yet still she delayed to speak the word that
would bind Ralph to herself. She would try
the world a little longer first. So far her path
had been smoother than she had expected.
Her work was becoming familiar; her em-
ployers were satisfied and encouraging ; her
father was pleased, and inclined to reform.
One day Agnes, paying her a visit, was
struck by her little cousin's improved spirits.
** Your life seems to agree with you, Gris-
elda," she said, looking with admiration on the
bright face and soft sparkling eyes. " I never
believed Mr Temple when he said it would be
too great a strain for you ; you look as dif-
ferent as possible from the pale sad child you
were a few months ao^o.''
*' Did Mr Temple say that ? '' said Gris-
elda, becoming very grave. " What did he
*' That it would make you ill, I suppose/'
Griselda shook her head. '' No ; I don't
**FOR henry's sake." 281
think he meant that. I think he meant I
should probably do something foolish.''
^' You odd litde girl," said Agnes, laughing.
'' Philip is a dreadful cridc, but I don't think
he intended anything so severe as that."
The remainder of Griselda's time in London
passed, on the whole, gaily and in comparative
happiness. She was bright and sparkling as
a rule, her low-spirited fits being as excep-
tional now as once her merriment had been.
A stormy day is often marked by a few
hours of sunshine.
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